Fire up the incense, dust off those love beads, and reconnect the strobe light: The San Francisco band Cool Ghouls has a fine new album of trippy goodness. Fusing glistening folk melodies, jangly, psychedelia-tinged guitars, and woozy vocals evoking the search for a higher state, Animal Races dares to echo long-ago greats like Jefferson Airplane and Arthur Lee’s Love, but never feels nostalgic. There’s a refreshing rough edge to the quartet that suggests they’re making it up as they go, not following some dusty recipe book. Should you be so inclined, there’s armchair philosophizing in such mesmerizing tunes as the title track and “Time Capsule,” but simply surfing the Ghouls’ sublime waves of sound is a delicious pleasure for its own sake.
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