Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Gris Gris 

For the Season

Wednesday, Nov 9 2005
As much acclaim as musical witch doctor Greg Ashley received for the 2004 debut by his brainchild the Gris Gris -- even snotty, too-cool-for-school Vice magazine gave it a fawning 10 out of 10 -- the group's ambitious new release For the Season is liable to have worshipful rock journos and acid-damaged freaks alike camping out on Ashley's Oakland doorstep, begging for a sip of the potent Kool-Aid he's brewing. Recorded over three months at a secluded cabin in the songwriter's native Texas, the effort further cements Ashley's status as one of neo-psychedelia's leading lights. After a disorienting 20-second opening of dead silence, the album explodes with "Ecks Em Eye," a throbbing collision of sax- and clarinet-skronk and discordant guitar that sounds like John Zorn jamming with Pink Floyd circa Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The first half of the record unfolds as a continuous suite, veering from the brooding, surf-noir menace of "Cuerpos Haran Amor Extrano" to the Farfisa-driven happy hippie bounce of "Down with Jesus," which, halfway through, somehow transforms the main riff from War's "Low Rider" into an unhinged garage-rock rave-up. Ashley isn't shy about drawing inspiration from his '60s forebears, whether mining the dark vibes of Syd Barrett and Roky Erickson or retooling the Middle Eastern stomp of the Stones' "Paint It Black" with "Pick Up Your Raygun." But when the results are as uniformly spectacular as the songs on For the Season, it's easy to forgive a bit of lysergic pilfering.

About The Author

Dave Pehling


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"