Man, Brant Bjork has been really prolific lately – between reissues and new issues, this is the fourth record of his I’ve reviewed since 2018. And with its stripped-down, laidback, lo-fi vibes, and Brant playing every single instrument, this might be the closest he’s come to Jalamanta in a while.
That said, you won’t find some of the extended psychedelic jams of his debut on this one, as Brant Bjork clocks in just shy of 38 minutes. Leadoff single “Jungle in the Sound” starts things off with a cool, desert-rock riff that recalls “Automatic Fantastic.” But this one is more laidback and compact, at a shade over four minutes, with a mellower vocal and what sounds like congas in the background. “Mary (You’re Such a Lady)” settles into a similar mellow groove, albeit with a little more urgency in the chorus, as Brant appears to be pining after a biblical figure, a theme that seems to continue on “Jesus Was a Bluesman.”
At six-and-a-half minutes, “Cleaning Out the Ashtray” is a little longer, with a more extended instrumental jam section, although it still follows a fairly structured verse/chorus pattern for the first couple minutes, ending with an extended chorus that will surely get stuck in your head. “Shitkickin’ Now” is a little more uptempo, at 3:16, driven by a bluesy guitar riff and a faster drumbeat, but still coming across as very minimalist.
“Stardust & Diamond Eyes” is another tune that wouldn’t sound outta place on Jalamanta, with a consistently groovy riff before taking an unexpected turn into some super-slow-mo, doom-metal tempos on a very memorable chorus. He’s not singing about smoking bongs and worshipping Satan, though – this is actually a love song. Whodathunkit?
(Heavy Psych Sounds)