(3 out of 10)
Ugh. Can we just be done with this hipster psych revival already? The whole thing seemed like a pretty good idea a couple years ago, but by this point, the returns are diminishing pretty quickly. OK, perhaps that’s a bit of a broad brush to paint an entire genre with, but slogging through the new long-player from the Entrance Band, generalities and clichés seem quite appropriate.
As plain old “Entrance,” Guy Blakeslee rustled up a bit of a reputation for his trippy, psych-folk; the permanent addition of two members – Derek W. James and Paz Lenchantin – forced both a renaming and something of a sonic redirection. And the results should be awesome, considering James is a stunning drummer and Lenchantin is known for her superlative bass-playing in A Perfect Circle and the terribly underappreciated Zwan.
The results are not awesome at all. Putting aside’s Blakeslee’s penchant for truly horrible lyric-writing (check the kindergarten-class-project words for “M.L.K.”) is easy enough, especially since he couldn’t figure out how to turn off the echo-chamber reverb on his vocal mic. But justifying the meandering and uninspired blues-rock jams that form the basis for these songs? It’s nearly impossible. As Lenchantin and James plonk out the most plodding and rote rhythms imaginable, Blakeslee flails at his overdriven guitar like a 14-year-old showing off his chops in a guitar store… in 1975.
The result is simultaneously formless and completely predictable, with none of the punishing firepower of a similarly oriented power trio like Earl Greyhound nor any of the brain-melting overdrive of Comets on Fire. Although Thurston Moore’s imprimatur on this disc will likely garner it considerably more slack than it deserves, this is exactly the kind of self-indulgent and incurious bullshit that Sonic Youth planted a flag against some 30 years ago.