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OM: “Cremation Ghat” After three albums of nothing but bass, drums, and Sufi poetry, California stoner-mystics Om had just about smoked their schtick down to resin. But the duo’s latest release opens the door for a few collaborators. “Cremation Ghat II,” from the forthcoming God is Good uses tamboura, tablas, and strings to flesh out an Eastern groove, allowing the band the chance to escape the box—or hotbox—that they’ve been gotten stuck in.
Gary Higgins: “Demons” When it comes to difficult sophomore albums Gary Higgins’ Seconds probably sets some sort of record. It took the Connecticut-based singer/songwriter more 35-years to follow up Red Hash, his dark and moody 1973 psych-folk classic. But “Demons” proves that time has not worn away Higgins ability to craft haunting baroque folk tunes. Nor has it softened his outlook. “We both traveled hard/ now you drive a Mercedes Benz,” sings Higgins. “I get to light your cigar/and glue back your phony tri-star/and puke in the trunk of the car and not really give a damn. ”
Liam Finn & Ed O’Brien: “Bodhisattva Blues” Apparently Radiohead’s Ed’Obrien loosely adapted this song, taken from the 7 Worlds Collide benefit compilation, from a Tibetan chant. What he doesn’t mention is that the monk who originally wrote it was actually just John Lennon disguised in a habit. It’s nice, though, after nearly a decade of post-guitar Radiohead, to hear Ed O’Brien crank out some skronky Bends-era riffs again.
OOIOO: “Uda Hah” Boredoms drummer Yoshimi P-We returns with her just-as-good-if-not-better solo project OOIOO. “Uda Hah,” from the group’s upcoming record Armonico Hewa uses tick-tocking guitars and squishy electronic noises to frame a multiple-drummer rhythms section. This band spent its last couple of records—Killa Killa Killa and Taiga—wandering in and out of a fusion-jazz nebula, but if “Uha Hah” is any indication, they’re back on solid ground.