Wellwater Conspiracy The Scroll and its Combinations

The psychedelic side-project for original Monster Magnet guitarist, John McBain and ex-Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron is now on to its third album with a slight return to the retro garage antics of their great '97 debut, Declaration of Conformity, albeit with a more polished rock sheen. Far superior to '99s Brotherhood of Electric, The Scroll and Its Combinations has more hits than misses even through the album is a bit of mishmash, reflecting its creation over many fragmented sessions, while higher paying gigs beckoned. A prime example is Matt Cameron's work with Pearl Jam, which might explain Eddie Vedder's presence on the track "Fecility's Surprise," a great pop song that can't sound like anything other than Pearl Jam. The '60s throw-back numbers on the album include the somewhat banal Mod styling of "Tick Tock" and the great psych guitar pop on "Of Dreams." The album's first two songs "Tidepool Telegraph" and "I Got Nightmares" are a couple of the strongest, taking a more psych-meets-stoner stance, while "The Scroll" with its helium processed vocal provides a heady pop highlight. If Wellwater would just sprinkle in some of those obscure covers that made their debut so solid and we'd have a real winner here. (TVT)