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Volume 1

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, June 10, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

The Wooden Shjips' earliest material was released on vinyl, pressed in small quantities that were either free or hard to come by and are now hopelessly out of print. Who are we to keep you away from the rush of Shrinking Moon for You? Vol. 1 collects all the tracks from the free 10-inch, the Dance, California 7-inch, and the SOL 7-inch. The band will be out playing live, in their own nimble way, this spring and summer, road-testing new material for their next record.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Holy Mountain
  • ASIN: B0017IKQRG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,330 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
As a handy compilation of material that preceded their self-titled CD, "Volume 1" shows a band much more inspired by Spacemen 3 than the Jim Morrison-style vocals favored on the later full-length record (also reviewed by me). This adjective may be rather misleading, as neither record goes much longer than half an hour. However, the density of these songs makes them seem like they go on forever.

This may be a warning for some listeners and an incentive for others. Being firmly in the latter camp, I liked the band's mix of keyboard Krautrock, guitar-bass-drums straightforward neo-psychedelia, and distortion effects. The emphasis on a slightly punkier, more ragged texture I find more appealing, in fact, than the Doors-Echo & the Bunnymen Jim Morrison-Ian McCulloch type of singing on the s/t record, but each has its own strengths. It seems the band's been evolving into a less loud but equally intense mood.

The songs heard here, therefore, tend towards studio effects that for me work well with the repetitive grooves and infinite space-rock stylings. They remind me of The Black Angels or Farflung's "A Wound in Eternity" (the latter album's also reviewed by me) in their adaptation of a Hawkwind-Chrome-postpunk melange that melds newer spacerock aesthetic with a postpunk aggression. With the exception of the throwaway gimmick "Space Clothes," which knocks down the rating here, it's a satisfying collection if you skip track 3.

Buyers may want to know that Volume 1 had also been issued as a limited-edition (1000 copies) freebie with their self-titled CD, but this two-fer being long out of print, this re-release proves generous and welcome, as these songs are hard to find in their original issues. Support this indie band as they carry on a welcome tradition of forty-odd years of excursions into the ethereal realm of songs that go on as if forever, as if much longer than their brief incarnations here.
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