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One Song: Wooden Shjips’ ‘Lazy Bones’ rides a single relentless riff

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A seemingly simple formula is seldom as engaging as when the San Francisco group does it.



Wooden Shjips, “Lazy Bones”

“Lazy Bones” rides a single, relentless riff all the way through its four minutes, a distorted bass, drum and guitar mantra that suggests other such rock meditations: the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray,” Spacemen 3’s “Revolution,” the entire output of Australian punks Feedtime. It’s a seemingly simple formula but one that’s seldom as engaging as when Wooden Shjips does it: Lock into a basic two- or three-chord distorted groove and ride it as if you’ve just caught the perfect wave — or, to mix metaphors, like you’re a rolling stone gathering no moss.Pour some feedback-drenched guitar chords on top of it, offer a brain-melting solo, and explore the space within.

On “Lazy Bones,” San Francisco’s Wooden Shjips gets way, way lost within its frantic, tight abyss, one that’s so head-noddingly infectious and trippy that it’ll make your headphone-wearing ears hum from the sheer momentum. The track is the first release from Wooden Shjips’ forthcoming full-length, “West” (due out in September), which features six other equally staggering mantras.

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— Randall Roberts


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