Acid Baby Jesus – Selected Outtakes (Slovenly Recordings)

Selected Outtakes Vinyl |

Selected Outtakes is a misnomer for this archival release from Greek psych rockers Acid Baby Jesus. The two songs on this 7″, “Amalia” and “Hermit,” aren’t outtakes from the band’s 2014 opus Selected Recordings, just early recordings of two songs from the album. However, those two songs, “Night Of Pan” and “Ayahuasca Blues,” were so strong in their finished state that I’m totally OK with scouring these early versions for differences. The melodic structures are pretty much the same as the final product, but “Amalia” has different lyrics and there’s new ghostly psychedelic sounds and hard-hitting drums on “Hermit.” The trade-off is that these versions are (in true demo fashion) a step slower, and the tones, which are so crucial to the finished product, aren’t completely locked in at this early stage. It’s good, if somewhat inessential, stuff for a small but dedicated subset of listeners who still have Selected Recordings in heavy rotation six years after its initial release.

Acid Baby Jesus – Lilac Days (Fuzz Club)

Image result for acid baby jesus lilac days

After two albums of damaged heavy psych with a twisted sense of humor, Acid Baby Jesus try to achieve the same effect on Lilac Days with prettier songs played at lower volumes. If you’re looking for reference points, consider Lilac Days the sound of Acid Baby Jesus discovering The Byrds, The Turtles, and Buffalo Springfield; replete with 12 string guitars, bouncier beats and generally sweeter sounds. It’s not bad, and it’s interesting to hear a Greek band trying a very American style on for size, but damn if I don’t miss the mind-bending darker sounding stuff. The problem is that, unlike those inspirational ’60s West Coast bands, Acid Baby Jesus don’t write great pop tunes, aren’t great harmony singers, and their rhythm section kinda plods. Even when they get punkier on “Me and Panormita” and “Guide Us In,” the quicker pace is wasted on benign performances. Even on a less-than-stellar album, guitar duo Noda Pappas and Dale MacDonald impress with neat tricks like the title track’s Eastern scales, or the warped jangling notes that make “Faces Of Janus” far more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

Acid Baby Jesus – Selected Recordings (Slovenly Recordings)

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. A lot of modern psychedelic bands are content to simply work within the genre’s preconceived boundaries, but these guys seem legitimately weird, which makes a huge difference. Their first album’s distorted garage rock vibe 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 attempts at a noisy nirvana meant to replicate (or enhance) the drug experience. “Who’s First” is a sonic outlier, sounding like an obscure early California punk single. 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 a Sabbath-y heaviness that’s always welcome. From start to finish Selected Recordings has cool sounds and cool songs, so check it out.

Acid Baby Jesus – LP (Slovenly Recordings)

Acid Baby Jesus
If I had to guess Acid Baby Jesus’ hometown based on the sound of their debut album, I’d say it was 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 so far away from the source is anyone’s guess, but I’m sure glad they did because this album destroys. There’s a freewheeling “anything can happen” approach which keeps always 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 – 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.
1 Tomboy
2 Android Robot
3 Fingerpainting
4 Tyrannosaurus Rex
5 Mesmerized
6 Why Aren’t You Laughing Now?
7 Old Fart
8 Tooth To Toe
9 Homo Sapiens
10 Oh, Aurelia
11 I’m A Baby
12 Horse
13 You Had It Coming