There are very few bands who can employ the techniques of the krautrock greats with successful results. They’re certainly out there (we’re looking at you, Cave), but one of the great modern keepers of the krautrock flame is Wooden Shjips. The songs of their latest record Dos carries through the technique and spirit of Neu!, but the songs stay more pop/garage/shoegaze oriented.
Dos is an amazing album. It’s five tracks long and it doesn’t mind vamping on some incredible, sunny hooks for a few minutes. And Ripley’s vocals? It’s like if Bono kept the melodrama at bay and really focused on capturing a good feeling.
Wooden Shjips – “For So Long” (from Dos)
Currently, Wooden Shjips begin their tour of America tomorrow (unfortunately, they aren’t stopping in Chicago). But here’s their list, courtesy of Ripley Johnson (whose other band Moon Duo released their first single this past summer).
1) Onna – “Cortigiana Dal Velo” (from Onna) – “Onna is a Japanese duo that started in the early ’80s and about whom I really know nothing. This is from the fantastic 7″ recently re-released by Holy Mountain. They also released a full-lenght comp CD but I have yet to hear it. To me this song sounds like the soundtrack to a dream march. To where, I have no idea. Both sides are stellar.”
2) Sun Araw – “Horse Steppin'” (from Beach Head) – “You can’t go wrong with any of the Sun Araw records. They manage to be incredibly dense, yet fractured, while still being slow-groovy as hell. This song, from Beach Head, is particularly catchy. I find myself singing along in my head, even though I have no idea what the lyrics are. I make up my own. Super groovy video on YouTube as well.”
3) Blues Control – “Tangier” (from Local Flavor) – “I listen to a lot of what I might call float music. That is, music that either has a floating or levitational quality or maybe just has that effect on me while I listen to it. A lot of Blue Control’s music is like this to me. This song is from their new record, Local Flavor, and it’s just a real heavy floater of an album all around.”
4) 39 Clocks – “Dom (Electricity Elects the Rain)” (from Subnarcotic) – “I’ve listened to this track more than any other recently and I’ve yet to tire of it. It’s from their album Subnarcotic (’82, I believe) which I downloaded from some blog. It pushes all my buttons at once. There’s a new comp of them out on De Stijl that has this track as well and which I must have.”
5) Henry Flynt and C.C. Hennix – “Mount Fuji on My Mind” (from Dharma Warriors) – “From their Dharma Warriors LP, which sits by my turntable at all times (alongside all of the essential Santana records). What do you call this? Shaggs-ian blues boogie? Is it studied ineptitude or primitive genius? Would probably bore and/or insult most people but I just flip it over and drink more coffee. Lovin’ the Summer!”