Wooden Shjips - Back to Land (CD) Cover Art

Wooden Shjips - Back to Land (CD)

  • $19.99

Origin: USA
Released: 2013
Catalog number: THRILL351
Deluxe die cut O-Card.

Back To Land kicks off with the eponymous track, which is totally representative of the album as a whole. The tone and the noise levels of Johnson’s rhythm guitars have been lowered down considerably, in terms of sound production. In doing so, Wooden Shjips succeed in making their material as easy listening and cool as possible, and tread on the trails of acclaimed artists such as Tom Petty. In the majority of the album, the rhythm guitars have been given a sound texture that could be easily associated with that characteristic “winding” noise that cassettes used to sound like, after heavy playing. The implemented riffs, on the other hand, are faithful to the vast inheritance of ‘60s/’70s rock in a strictly minimal and “unitary” manor, whereas the same apply for Johnson’s "shy" vocals, the rhythm section of Jermier/Ahsanuddin and Nash Whalen’s keyboards.

The lead guitars, on the other hand, are the album’s nominal means of improvisation, and while Johnson is delivering a seminar in note austerity, his leads are as essential as they can get. Be that as it may, the album’s diversity can be also ascribed to its tracks listing order, as not one of them is of the exact same mood as the next one. In that light, the drone-y space rock Wooden Shjips have been always known for, is evident in tunes such as “Other Stars”, the enticing “Servants” or the Beatles-esque “Ruins”, but not at the heavy dosages prescribed for Wooden Shjips and West. Moreover, the drone tracks serve as a bridge of smooth transition between the upbeat (“Back To Land”, “In the Roses”, “Ghouls”) and the more subdued (“These Shadows”, “Everyone Knows”) anthems of the album.

The importance of Back To Land lies in that Wooden Shjips came up with a differentiated way of expression with respect to their past work, while conforming fully to the strict directives the band identifies with. Moreover, the album can serve as an effective means of mental (or other) stress relief for those who will care to come around it, and this is not a figure of speech.