Acid Mother’s Temple, Reverse of Rebirth Reprise (Nod and Smile)

Easily Japan’s greatest and most voluminous export, ATM is the gift that keeps on giving. Since their 1996 hatching these psych overlords have put out well over a hundred records in various confusing formations, with each one being worthy of a listen; just go to the “modern psych” section of your closest cool guy record store, go to the “A” section, and choose the Acid Mother’s Temple album (you are sure to find 5 or 6) with the cover that will look the coolest in your collection. No need to sample it. It will rule. Out of no less than 5 records this year, our fave is probably Reverse of Rebirth Reprise which veers away from the freak jazz vein ATM has been mining and into some stark, wigged-out Floyd style epic balladry to great effect. 52 minutes. 4 tracks. Each starts as a stately, acoustic-strummed folk ballad (albeit with some weird sound effects), before at some point exploding into expansive, flute-led rolling dirges. For a collective that tends to stuff as many time changes and bells and whistles into each second of their music, it’s refreshing to hear them stretching out, finding a groove, and letting it run for as long as they feel it’s effective. “Dark Star Blues” and “Hello Good Child” are worthy additions to the Acid Mother’s greatest hits you’ve always wanted to compile but are afraid to start, with the wig out solo on “HGD” being a defining moment. This is easily the most accessible they’ve sounded since the late ’90s, a disc to put on for your non-freak mates to try to lure them gradually to the dark side. They’ll be rocking Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream of Electric Tapirs hoodies before you know it.