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By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 3, 2011 4:00PM


There's something not quite right going on in the middle of the noise that Wooden Shjips creates. The quartet looks like a band of slightly deranged denizens from some misty, eerie backwoods. There's probably a swamp or something hidden back there. And the music they create does its best to sonically evoke that image. Each song has a solid cor driving it relentlessly forward, like a slug stoically pushing its way through the soil, while muddy layers of guitar pile up on each other creating layers of noise that melt into a single flow. An interesting thing happens when the vocals come in, their sound evoking wide open yet desolate desert skies. This is psychadelia in the sense that its inviting you to hollow out your skull and fill it with red sunlight, dust and sweat. You take that, retreat to a bathtub filled with peat and submerge yourself in the music and the story will tell itself. So yeah, there's something not quite right going on here and we find that rather wonderful.

The band's touring behind their latest album, West, and makes a rare Chicago stop at The Empty Bottle on Saturday.

MP3: Wooden Shjips "Lazy Bones"

Wooden Shjips plays Saturday, November 5, at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 10 p.m., $10, 21+