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Pink Mountaintops

Axis of Evol (Jagjaguwar)

Pink Mountaintops' lo-fi psychedelia debut was in-your-face sexual angst and exhibitionism stuffed into one panting release after another, as subtle as a lap-dance or, for that matter, the name Vancouver fixture Stephen McBean chose for this project (he's also the leader of stoner-rock fave Black Mountain). On Axis of Evol, the subject matter has gone from knocking boots to social critique, but the sound is no less down-and-dirty.

"Slaves" unfurls in languorous torpor, its insistent tribal rhythm just about the only element keeping the song upright. "Plastic Man, You're the Devil" is overlaid with messed-up synth buzz and sinister whammy-bar guitar licks -- a hippie anthem wrung through Satan's house speakers -- and "New Drug Queens" is a two-minute shot of fuzzed-out Lotus-eater bliss. Axis bookends "Comas" and "How We Can Get Free" may be more acoustic-based, but they share the same dystopian worldview and doped-out feel.

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