Wooden Shjips Dos

To achieve rock and spiritual transcendence, if you recall, Bono needed only his red guitar, three chords and the truth. I don't know what colour guitar Ripley Johnson uses or what access to verity he possess but he obviously got there two chords earlier. His San Francisco unit's second effort keeps to their trademark minimalist bass lines, keyboard drones and '70s vibe like they've still never seen a laptop flipped open. Criticized for re-charting territory that was dubious to begin with (the Doors, Hawkwind), the Shjips remain unbowed but also pare things even further back to Suicide simplicity on tracks like "Motorbike," which simulates "Ghost Rider" crossing the Golden Gate. "Down By the Sea," one of the two longer tracks, appears to be a shroud to sustain an extended guitar freak-out, but closer "Fallin'" takes a major chord detour. Like some alternate version of Peng! the early Stereolab leanings suddenly let bright yellow light come flowing in. Perhaps this is the truth? (K7)