Howling Hex Earth Junk

Legendary garage punk chameleon Neil Michael Hagerty has confounded fans with different versions of the Howling Hex, yet Earth Junk represents his most startlingly satisfying document. Ironically, this record is also the hardest to swallow, cribbing from the early post-psychedelic hangover that produced some of the Rolling Stones’ most challenging work, but imagining that material recorded with the same reckless abandon as The Basement Tapes. There’s little in the way of hooks or groove on Earth Junk, as electric pianos, organs and disembodied voices spouting pseudo-philosophical positivism and apocalyptic poetry float above Hagerty’s jagged, glorious guitar lines. In the best sense, Earth Junk is a refreshing fusion of styles and moods prominent in the late ’60s. Its ragged glory suggests what might happen if Mick Jagger, Herbie Hancock, Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson all got bored at a party and started playing together on whatever instruments they could get their gifted paws on. (Drag City)