It's with typical perversity that the Brian Jonestown Massacre
makes the leap from the indie ghetto into the majors with their least immediate, most restrained record to date; given time to sink in, however, Strung Out in Heaven
proves as engaging as their past efforts, with a focus and cohesiveness often lacking from their more visceral work. Settling into a blissfully psychedelic drift, the album opts not for the Stones
-inspired raunch of before but for Byrds
-like guitars, muffled drums and pulsating Hammond organ lines, all topped off by Anton Newcombe
's half-stoned, half-shamanic vocals; thanks to standout tracks like "Going to Hell," "Wasting Away" and "Maybe Tomorrow," the cumulative impact makes for the BJM's most mature outing yet, evoking a kind of narcotic euphoria perfectly in keeping with the album's title.