Out Crowd Then I Saw the Holy City

After leaving Brian Jonestown Massacre, who recently got their own twisted promotional boost from the rockumentary DiG!, Matt Hollywood would eventually put together his own psych-rock five-some, the Out Crowd. Differences between the new group and BJM are slim, likewise with ex-friends/rivals the Warhols, with whom they share a love of pun ("Instant Dharma") and whose "Minnesoter" and "Godless" are reprised here with Hollywood's "If You're Cool" and "Gets In the Way," respectively. But get past the immense feeling of deja-vu, the record's epic length (almost 73 minutes in all) and its tedious intro courtesy of "Agent Goldfinger," and fans of Portland's now dissipated retro scene will likely find enough in Holy City's several highlights to make the meandering trip worth while. As to be expected, most all tracks are slow-burners, rarely asserting a melody past the energy required to expunge it, but when multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jane is kept from the mic (to be fair, she only sings on one cut — the horrendous "Big Brother"), the results are rarely cumbersome. That said, they're also rarely better than any of his past material or the slew of albums that sound like it, and not even its wonderful closing duet with Little Sue, "Eyes of Blue," can make up for about twenty minutes worth of tape that'd require a sample of acid with the purchase to seem essential. (The Kora)