Meek Warrior (Young God Records)

Left to their unencumbered imaginations, the members of this New York quartet turn in another fearless record. The nine-minute "Blessing Force" opens with a salvo of metal-guitar riffs before shifting into tribal beats, acoustic drone, and a sax-skronk-and-feedback crescendo noisy enough to herald the end times. It's like simultaneously listening to several different songs that are held together only by the band's will and musical chops. Most of the rest of Meek Warrior moves at a leisurely pace, more in keeping with the group's eponymous acoustic debut. "Gone Beyond" is the sort of richly textured acoustic hymn you'd hope to hear if lost at sea; the title track and "No Space in This Realm" recall Animal Collective's playful vocal collages, with horns, drones, and shakers. "The Rider (Dolphin Song)" recasts the opening cut's formula in a shorter format, and the record winds down with the gospel prayer "Love & Space," a fittingly meditative end to such a wild and boundless ride.
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