Greek’s best current export returns fresh faced and going for a more laconic vibe than they’ve embraced previously. ABJ has traditionally gone for the garage gusto and held on tight, but now they’re folding in plenty of ’70s folk/psych touches to the mix and pulling it off with a pretty solid hold on their history. They can still drive a hook, though, and while the overall vibe of the album has backed away from the intensity of their youth, they still wind up a garage hook now and again on Lilac Days.
The album blows by quickly. It doesn’t mire itself in an obsession with working psych over the barrel of length to draw out the kernel of raw vibe at the center of the beast. They get in and out without overstaying their welcome, and the brevity wears well. What’s striking, though, is when they play things slow – work the ambience more than the stomp n’ twang – they wind up in a place that’s positioning them as heirs apparent to a soft psych mantle that’s in sore need of pickup. “Birth” and “Love Has Left My House Today” in particular find the band lapping at the shores of a calm iridescence that could use more prominence in today’s psych scene. There are plenty that want to proselytize at the altar of groove, but sometimes we all need to simmer and let the damp chill seep into the bones. Acid Baby Jesus ride the vibe well and it would behoove them to follow this muse where it leads.
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