Those the Shjips I Was Looking For

When I first heard "Dance California" and read the description laid upon San Francisco's Wooden Shjips, I thought it was a collective of like-minded late-teenagers finally finding the truth in kraut, forgoing anything post in order to jam cosmic. Six months later I'm inebriated mere hours past noon, the Austin sun is beating down on the pavement, and I'm in a cave-like bungalow known as Beerland with only a handful of know-it-alls bobbing heads to a bearded forty-thirty-something bohemian with the raddest guitar seen in my life. It was Wooden Shjips -- in all their old-age, long-haired, infinite wisdom -- handing out free vinyl after the smoked had cleared. Well I played that 7" into the ground, and made many believers in its wake, but that full length? Let's just say it doesn't hold same sonic blister as does the live show.

Their limited Sol '07 almost did the trick, since it was an actual live recording, but it wasn't until their Sub Pop debut, Loose Lips, that I became devout towards their magnetic output. For some reason this is indicative of the performance more that anything before it. The keyboards and bass are far out front, the vocals not to intimidating (simply going with the flow), and the guitars carving on forever (the bread and butter of the band). Carving on forever, and ever, and ever. You'd think the song was 15 minutes.

Seriously, go buy this.

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