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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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Video: The Dead Ships "Golden Room"

Rabble-rousing garage rock trio The Dead Ships have just released a video for their new single, Golden Room, a fiery new track that follows on the tracks of their attention-grabbing full length debut, Electric Ahab, back in 2012. The no-frills video is just as expected for a band of this caliber - three slightly unkempt, yet passionate garage rockers bangin’ a tune in a ratty setting without any concerns about buttering or sensibilizing their surroundings. Oh, and there's a human crow that seems to disturb their jam, or is it the other way around? Though more details about their sophomore effort are still forthcoming, they did reveal that they just wrapped up the mastering of the record with Broken Social Scene scribe Brendan Canning in the helm of the recording. For those who happen to be in New York City this week, they're playing tonight at Glasslands Gallery.

 

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Renee-Louise Carafice "I Have Some Problems"

Anyone hanging out at The Basement Sunday night would have had the opportunity to catch Renee-Louise Carafice.  Fresh from a visit to her native soil of New Zealand, Carafice made her return known by knocking out a set during The Basement's Sunday Post. May saw the release of her latest album, "Power Animals." It's a catharsis cocooned in an orchestra's worth of odd and obscure instruments (ocarinas, anyone?). Track 2, "I Have Some Problems" lays the groundwork for the rest of the recording, a dense tangle of noise of which Carafice even warns "-these are not songs that you would sing in the shower." However, somehow, out of the dated synth and drum machines and droning repetition of the title line comes something stark and beautiful.  So, if you think you're ready for the journey into Carafice's head, check out "Power Animals." -Terra James-Jura

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Future Twin and Sweat Lodge support The Garden at Bottom of the Hill – 6/24

Future Twin will be supporting The Garden tomorrow night at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, along with Austin, TX based Sweat Lodge.

This is going to be thrilling show. The line up is well curated, and will flow well throughout the night. While Sweat Lodge’s sound is closer to doom and stoner rock, San Francisco based Future Twin embodies a crisp post punk sound, touched with dark and twisted musical undertones. The Garden has a similar style, and this combination will make the energy and sounds of the night swell and blend in and through your ears and the venue. We recommend you check out this show! You won’t regret it.

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Premier: Orquestra Pacifico Tropical's Rio Frio

Before I dive into describing the intoxicating mix of sounds that Orquestra Pacifico Tropical have etched onto their debut record, Rio Frio (cold river), I would like to offer a brief history of the music they play so passionately, Cumbia. Cumbia has been around for hundreds of years, historians believe that the pulsing rhythms in which the genre is founded originated in African tribes and brought to Central America by slaves during the Spanish colonization in what is now Columbia. There these rhythms met claves, flutes, guitars and, eventually, accordions to create the cross-cultural dance music that we now call Cumbia.

The rhythms of Cumbia have been evolving since their inception, yet always retaining a groove that makes the style universally danceable. Orquestro Pacifico Tropical have taken this groove and added hazy guitar tones, roaring horns and a storm of percussive dexterity to create an album that is completely contagious. The opening track, “Macondo” sets an energetic tone with sweeping rhythms, blasting horns and anthemic vocal shouts. It got me dancing around my apartment immediately, and I didn’t stop moving my feet until the last note was hit and the cacophonic introduction to “Andalucia” began. From here the album moves through surfy guitar leads (“Petrolero"), hypnotic drumming (“Negra”) and vocal shouts that made me wish I spoke more Spanish so that I could sing along. The music that Orquestra Pacifico Tropical have created on Rio Frio is equally traditional, novel and undeniably fun. Join them for their record release show with 1939 Ensemble and Point Juncture, WA at Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, June 25th to pick up a copy on vinyl for yourself. 

- Ben Toledo 


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