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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
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Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.


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Kansas Bible Company preps new album release with "She's in the Garden," live this Friday (06.03)

It's just a taste, just a tease, but the dreamy "She's in the Garden" from Kansas Bible Company's upcoming Paper Moon shows that the band is drinking deep from a pool of laudable influences. Centered around the reliable tenderness of a Rhodes and leading into a horn breakout bound for who-knows-where, "She's in the Garden" sounds something like Jason Molina with a smile on his face.

The Bible Co. has a hometown show at the Beast coinciding with the release of the album on June 3, this Friday, so check out the track and then be sure to show these talented locals some love in-person style. -Austin Phy


Drop what you're doing and listen to these demos from Teddy & the Rough Riders

Way back in the mids of April, I saw a previously unknown band set the stage for Natural Child at a VFW Post in town, of all places. "These guys are great!" I said. "I sure hope there's some music online so I can share it with folks!" There wasn't. So imagine my excitement finding out today that at some point in the interim, Teddy & the Rough Riders got some demos together and oh boy, do they ever hold up in comparison to the live experience. There are only six tracks on display, but they all showcase what this band does best—sophisticated country tunes held tight by an accomplished band and lifted into orbit by some truly incredible pedal steel (the ever-magnificent Luke Schneider), let loose to wander by way of the frayed, croaking vocals on top of it all. It only took one live show to convince me that these guys are headed in exactly the right direction. Give 'em that same chance next time you can, yeah? -Austin Phy


Taco Dreams delivers on new wave punk irreverence with "John Cougar Watermelon Camp Counselor"

John Cougar Watermelon Camp Counselor, the tape-ready debut from Taco Dreams, is relentlessly energetic throughout without being exhausting. There are notes of The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Stone Roses, only with a great deal mopre levity than any of those new wave forebears. It's not a brand new sound per se, but between Taco Dreams and several other new-on-the-scene groups, it's incredibly exciting to see the Nuggetsy-garage vibe that overtook East Nasty for the longest effetively exploring some other sounds. -Austin Phy

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The forecast calls for warmth and a strong chance of sunshine pop on Father Tribe's self-titled EP

This one slipped by my radar when it first came out, but Bandcamp's search likes to make up its own rules sometimes. Occasionally, that causes a gem to surface, such as Father Tribe's self-titled EP. All the hallmarks of summertime listening are there—the 'verb, the lilting vocal sustains, the laid back tempo. Of course, these things can get a little one-dimensional. Fortunately it isn't all sunshine and rainbows; it's got that modern beach pop shimmer for sure, but it's balanced out with the sense of urgency of 1980s synthpop. Give it a spin if you're so inclined. We'd recommend it. -Austin Phy

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Boom Forest explores all different faces of electronica and folk on "Post Knight Errant"

Post Knight Errant, the latest from ex-Wisconsinite John Paul Roney's Boom Forest project, explores a range of folk and electronica influences, deftly using the natural ebb and flow of that exploration to cover the entire spectrum of emotional experience. There's a current of tenderness running through the album, but it proves to be tonally versatile and adapts to the highs and lows from song to song and within a single track. It's a polished effort, and you ought to give the video a watch below and then go check out the entire album. -Austin Phy

Boom Forest "33" (We Are All One & Holy Ghost) from Elder on Vimeo.


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