Imaad Wasif with Two Part Beast Strange Hexes

After introducing himself to the world with an acoustic debut album two years ago, this former Yeah Yeah Yeahs touring guitarist returns with a self-released psych rock album. The psych persona suits him to a tee, as Wasif sounds completely at ease throughout this album, even if he is singing about "astral ways of love” or declaring: "I am a chrysalis.” While the lyrical content of Strange Hexes might not be much to write home about, it’s a beautifully melodic album with quite a few surprises. Opener "Wanderlusting” starts off as a pleasant acoustic jam laid on top of a buzzing lead guitar, then balloons suddenly and jubilantly into a thunderous metal-via-Crazy Horse rampage, Wasif leading the way with a righteous extended solo. Unexpected nuggets of goodness like this are a common occurrence on this neat little album. If only he stopped saying things like, "you are so crystalline,” then we’d really be in business. (Independent)