WOODEN SHJIPS I’m almost getting used to now. They always play four songs, each usually clocking in around 8-10 minutes, three of which have been the same each time I’ve seen them, along with one “wild card”. This time it was “Shrinking Moon For You”, the biker-damaged art/psych monster that introduced the band to the world on last year’s 10”. Having played that thing several hundred dozen times, I guess a live version that didn’t hue to the script in my head would be a little disappointing, and it was, which probably says more about me than them. The bass player is the secret weapon of this band – the guy who looks & moves almost exactly like a pokerfaced Bob Weir, holding down an unchanging rhythm for the entire song while total keyboard & guitar chaos swirls around him. It’s that sort of Teutonic krautrock efficiency, among other things, that distinguishes this band from others who pretend to hold a foot in their camp. I’m counting on more nights out in front of crowd making these guys totally unstoppable a year from now.
I’d only heard a few songs from RESIDUAL ECHOES (pictured here) previously (loud, free, knuckle-dragging wooly mammoth rock), and some folks were muttering about how they’d recently recast the cut of their jib. No kidding! They were an absolute note-perfect knockoff of an SST band, circa 1984-87 or so, and if Greg Ginn had been in the audience and this was twenty years ago there’d have been backstage contracts signed & champagne a-flowin’ after the show. The smoking-fine female bass player even looked & headbanged the part perfectly, like she was Sylvia Juncosa or Kira Roessler reborn. I tried egging her on in encouragement, yelling “KIRA’S GOT THE 10 AND A HALF!” after every song, but getting no response, I slunk to the back of the room. But seriously folks, the RESIDUAL ECHOES’ “new direction” sounded like “Metal Circus”-era HUSKER DU crossed with some weird amalgamation of DAS DAMEN, late-period BLACK FLAG, and SWA. I dug it, if only because I felt like I was back at the Anti-Club in LA in 1987 at an SST barbeque, hoping I wouldn’t get caught with a beer in my hand. Maybe take that away and they were just OK, but I’m interested in hearing where they’ll take this on vinyl.