“Become a Monk” by Modey Lemon, from Season of Sweets (Birdman Records):
For good bands, genres are training wheels, not blueprints. Not to disparage Modey Lemon‘s early proto-punk beginnings — those race-car rhythms with frantic, MC5 throb rocked — but the allure was rudimentary. The group’s second album, Thunder & Lightning, rumbles like a grimy, grease-coated version of Blues Explosion. The addition of full-time bassist and keyboard player Jason Kirker brought renewed boogie to 2005’s Curious City, and the band’s latest, Season of Sweets, completes the transformation. Having abandoned his manic yowl the past two albums, frontman Phil Boyd ushers in a sweltering acid-psych aesthetic that meshes well with the riff-driven roar. Drummer Paul Quattrone is loud and busy, providing chewy ballast for boundary-busting garage-psych freakouts that blend bits of Modey’s previous incarnations.