Wooden Shjips V.
Published May 22, 2018Psychedelic rockers Wooden Shjips have been under the radar since the release of Back to Land in 2013 and now return with new album V. Deeply zoned-out, overlapping delayed guitars, and a relaxed vibe make V. worth checking out, but it never makes the leap from easy listening to energetic.
Bright backwards psychedelic guitar reels are the strong aspect of the album; "Red Line" and "Staring At the Sun" have just that, but Wooden Shjips take a softer, more meditative approach than what we are used to hearing. The effort to break away from their hasty sound is refreshing, but the more easy-going, smooth style projected on all of V. makes the experience generic, underwhelming and stagnant. The majority of the album feels like a bad trip and you're just waiting for it to end.
If you manage to make it to the last track, you're rewarded with the strong send-off "Ride On," which stands out for its slow tempo, drawn-out vocals and dreamy guitar.
V. never rises above space rock, making the album feel like any other '60s hippie/psychedelic record. It's adequate, but when you can easily predict how it's going to play out, you're never left wanting more. (Thrill Jockey)