Gris Gris 

For the Season (Birdman)

From Sleater-Kinney's The Woods to new releases from Dead Meadow and Modey Lemon, there's a pretty good psych-rock strain to this year's music, and the latest from Houston-to-Bay Area transplants Gris Gris adds to it. "Ecks Em Eye" slowly ascends into a sax-honking march, and by the third track, frontman Greg Ashley and his mates have taken their space shuffle to a galaxy where Syd Barrett writes Gregorian chants. Further experiments include a ghostly '50s teen ballad ("Medication No. 4") and the pastoral pastels of "Down with Jesus." Ashley's sly voice, fuzzy production and strong songwriting ensure that Season rarely stoops to easy freak-out exploits.

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