Wooden Shjips: Back To Land
For Back To Land, the new album by West Coast psych quartet Wooden Shjips, guitarist Ripley Johnson and drummer Omar Ahsanuddin packed up and moved to Oregon to record their first set of tracks outside of the Bay Area. With the lush climate and natural surroundings inspiring their musical direction, the pair managed to tap into a more grounded, organic sound without diverting the course of their modernist space-psych core. Throughout each of the album’s
eight tracks, a distinctly brighter flag flies atop the Shjip, as melodies step out into the forefront, washing away much of the sledge-y murk that cloud their previous recordings. But at no point does this change in sound equate to less distortion, fewer stretched-out modal jams or fewer measures of spiraling
space-rock. Instead, the roots that were first formed on their previous album West come into full bloom on Back To Land, the Shjips’ most melodic and direct collection of songs to date.