Holy Wave: Relax

This Austin-based psychedelic-garage band finds its inspiration somewhere between Rubber Soul and the Nuggets-era revolution. On its second proper full-length album, the group proves everything old is trippy again.

The opening track, “Can You Feel It?,” sets the tone, building a joyful haze from a throbbing bass line, simple reverberating guitar figure, cheesy organ wheezes and a primitive drum beat. Repeated hypnotic moans of “You want love” echo in the brain stem as the song ends long before you’d like it to. Variations on that recipe also infuse such songs as “Night Tripper” and “Mouth Mountain,” calling on influences such as The Velvet Underground, Buffalo Springfield and The Byrds. Attentive listeners also may sense that Holy Wave’s sound has a few elements in common with the early-80s Paisley Underground movement, most notably the band Rain Parade.

Lest we forget about songcraft, a breezy tune floats on the lysergic grooves of “Star Stamp,” while the melodies on “Wet & Wild” are charming and catchy enough to verge on adult contemporary.

Like most music that borrows from classic psychedelic and garage pioneers, there’s not much here that sounds radically new or original, but the band does an admirable job with its chosen tools, making music that is mesmerizing. The success here is in the traditional vaudevillian sense: Holy Wave leaves you wanting more.

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