Acid Baby Jesus‘ last proper full-length, 2011’s LP was kind of a hodgepodge of ’60s rock tropes. There were sludgy stompers, flower-power psych jams, and jangly bouncy things. It was fun, but never quite got into regular rotation the way their “Hospitals” single had originally hooked us.
In the meantime, they did a teamup with Hellshovel for the Voyager 8 EP, which was fun, but never really gelled the way I wanted it to. The two bands seemed to be doing their own things simultaneously, rather than finding a joint sound together, which really kept otherwise-agreeable numbers like “I Went Down” from clicking.
So, why should you listen to their upcoming full-length, Selected Recordings, out November 17 from Slovenly Recordings?
Because it’s amazing! It’s been a solid two years since the band’s released anything of note (not counting the “Vegetable” single they released in advance of this back in September), and they’ve changed, but in a good way. The whole psychedelic rock thing is 100% in the forefront. The album manages to remain thematically and tonally coherent, while also playing around with tempos and textures.
A big part of the problem with LP was that it sounded like a collection of singles, but Selected Recordings sounds like an album (although the names seem to suggest otherwise — weird). Acid Baby Jesus remains the band they once were. You can hear echoes of LP in this new album — “I’m Becoming a Man” rocks that dirty fuzz the same way “Tomboy” did, and “Row By Row” echoes the stomp and freakout of “Tyrannosaurus Rex.”
Also, in addition to just being recorded more coherently, Selected Recordings is sequenced in such a way that the album flows, rather than jumping from B to X to G to V to Z. By the end, you feel like you’ve journeyed down the river of Lethe, and things are groovy and all right.