The Gris Gris will take you on a trip with frenzied horn buildups and mind-bending meltdowns, favoring chantlike singing and mystical melodies and instrumentation without the overly self-indulgent virtuosity of the psych-rock of yore. The band flavors its sound with shades of garage rock, folk, and free jazz. Though the rhythm section can lose the thread with lax, sometimes derivative meanderings, don't expect to find the pop structures of contemporaries like Animal Collective and Lavender Diamond. Do prepare for a journey full of experimental breaks and smooth passages between songs. (Keep your ears open for the transition between sing-along "Down With Jesus" and the perplexingly titled "Big Engine Nazi Kid Daydream.")
A study in contradictions, some tunes are warm, some cavernous, some aimless, some pointed. The latest, For the Season, at times seems irrevocably fractured, but this SF band brings it all full circle; one minute it has induced a trance, the next, you're snapped back to reality with an onslaught of squelching feedback.