Gris Gris 

For the Season

From Sleater-Kinney's The Woods to new releases from Dead Meadow and Modey Lemon, there's a pretty good psych-rock strain to this year's music, and the latest from Houston-to-Bay-Area transplants Gris Gris only furthers it. "Ecks Em Eye" slowly ascends into a sax-honking march, and by the third track, frontman Greg Ashley and his mates have taken their space shuffle to a galaxy where Syd Barrett writes Gregorian chants; further experiments include a ghostly '50s teen ballad ("Medication #4") and the pastoral pastels of "Down with Jesus." Ashley's sly voice, fuzzy production, and strong songwriting skills ensure that all this rarely stoops to easy freak-out exploits

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