Greg Davis Curling Pond Woods

It starts with an awkward hymnal chant reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ opener for Smile, "Our Prayer,” but between it and a twisted cover of Wilson’s "At My Window,” Davis rarely makes his love of the Beach Boys the basis for his compositions. His second full-length, Curling Pond Woods, is much like his first; a primarily instrumental, psych-laptop record fitting somewhere between the pastiche work of the Books and the languid, atmospheric ambience of the Shalabi Effect. The curveball of "At My Window” helps to break the album’s monotonous build, but it — along with the Incredible String Band cover, "Air” — just sticks out far too much to feel cohesive or worth the inclusion. Instrumental tracks such as "Centermost,” "Improved Dreaming” and the title track make this a worthwhile listen, but if Davis, like the hundreds of other Wilson fanatics wearing it on their sleeve like it’s going to channel Wilson’s songwriting brilliance (let me save you the time: it won’t), aims to release something substantial, he might want to stick to what he’s clearly best at: beautifully produced ambient with a heavy psychedelic influence. As such, cut Curling into an EP featuring these tracks and you’ve got a winner. (Carpark)