West (Deluxe Version)

West (Deluxe Version)

Supreme psych-drone rockers Wooden Shjips must have figured out that if they traveled any more inward they just might turn themselves inside out. On their third studio album, the Shjips’ trance-inducing drones feel more focused and goal-oriented, cruising on elasticized, fuzz-encrusted guitar and keyboard notes with unwavering determination to reach a destination. The Shjips will likely never land their songs on vampiric TV shows or nighttime soaps, and it’s unlikely they’ll be on “modern rock” radio anytime soon. But we can certainly envision tracks like the swirling and murky “Black Smoke Rise“ and the propulsive “Lazy Bones” on the soundtrack of an edgy Tarantino flick featuring murderous bikers on acid, and we can see the shockingly “peppy” melody of “Looking Out” getting a remix treatment by Trent Reznor for a Jeep commercial. There are other places to go with Wooden Shjips’ music besides one’s own navel, and West is a fine launching pad.

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