Wooden Shjips @ The Corner
With a lineup consisting of hardcore minimalist techno, epic panoramic semi-instrumentalist stoner jams, and Kraut-tinged acid rock, the pertinent question for this evening was raised – just which stimulants would complement the evening's musical offerings? It's a trick question, because you should never take drugs, especially not on a Wednesday night, ya dingus. Seriously.
Forces are strange. They don't really belong in Melbourne, nor in 2012. But the thing is, they're fucking amazing. Their disruption to the guitar-dominated local scene is initially difficult to swallow – with their irony-devoid, exclusively synthesised sounds presented with a jarring sincerity onstage.
Once you overcome that initial high barrier into their world, you get the sense that the two-piece may be the most exciting band in the country right now. Tonight they were solid, but the sparsely populated early-night slot was a far cry from their remarkable strobe-saturated forest set at Camp A Low Hum. But still, this is next level shit.
Tonight marked the first set of the year from the tsunami of guitar noise that is Beaches. Hard at work on their long-overdue follow up to their fucking awesome debut, the five-piece did what they did best while showcasing cuts from the upcoming LP. Newer material seemingly leans toward the purely instrumental, which marks a logical evolution of the sparse use of vocals on their initial material. It's good to have them back.
The headline set from all-male space-rock outfit Wooden Shjips felt as though it pretty much consisted of a singular jam – a fucking awesome one at that. Band mastermind Ripley Johnson has evolved into a Howard Hughes-like figure (appearance-wise, especially). But instead of a Spruce Goose, Johnson simply pumps out a waterfall of damn fine psych rock – whether it be with Shjips or Moon Duo (who were recently in the country).
Tonight was an exercise in displaying the subjectivity of time. Not really sure how long the showcase of astral projections and distended jams lasted – it could have been ages – but I wouldn't have complained had it lasted all night. Despite a slightly muddy mix, the Shjips crushed it.
It was a strange, somewhat disparate lineup on paper, but no-one would argue that it was anything short of a masterstroke.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
LOVED: That I was slightly responsible and actually wore earplugs. OH&S first, kids.
HATED: Getting overly nostalgic for each band's respective Camp A Low Hum, Meredith, and Golden Plains sets.
DRANK: A pot with my mushroom sandwich.