I don’t know who your favorite Greek psychedelic band is, but mine is the mighty Acid Baby Jesus. Selected Recordings is their second full-length album, and it’s a pretty goddamn wild trip. Where a lot of modern psychedelic bands are content to simply work within the genre’s preconceived boundaries, these guys seem legitimately weird, which makes a huge difference. Their first album had a garage rock vibe that reminded me of Ty Segall, but Selected Recordings is almost uniformly dedicated to drugged-up drone-rock damage. Songs like “Diogenes”, “Night of Pan” and “Ayahuasca Blues” have me thinking of The Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” but with modern production and a Spacemen 3-like dedication to achieving a noisy nirvana that replicates (or enhances) the drug experience. “Who’s First” is a sonic outlier, sounding like an obscure single from the early days of California punk. Oh, and the lyrics have something to do with a gay cop looking to give someone oral sex. You won’t hear that on the next Foxygen album! Two songs later, “Troublemaker” blasts your brain with Sabbath-y heaviness that’s always welcome. From start to finish Selected Recordings has cool sounds and cool songs, so check it out.
If I had to guess Acid Baby Jesus’s hometown based on the sound of their debut album, I’d say it had to be somewhere in North America because they make heavily reverbed, slightly skewed, garage punk deconstructions similar to other current American and Candian bands – Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Mark Sultan, Brimstone Howl…etc. are sonic peers – yet ABJ are from Greece. How they picked up on the genre from so far away is anyone’s guess, but I’m sure glad they did because this album destroys. I really like the freewheeling “anything can happen” approach they take, which keeps you wondering just what the next moment will bring. The element of surprise pays dividends with unexpected left-turns into dark Velvet Underground-inspired territory on “Mesmerized”, down and out blues on “Tooth To Toe” and the robotic vocals of “Android Robot”. They have a sense of humor too, which is why there’s a song called “Old Fart”, a self-deprecating ’50s-styled rocker called “I’m A Baby”, and the demented Cramps-as-’60s-frat-band death-march of “Homo Sapiens”. If you like your garage rock warped and wild, Acid Baby Jesus are worth your time.
|6||Why Aren’t You Laughing Now?|
|8||Tooth To Toe|
|11||I’m A Baby|
|13||You Had It Coming|