PHISH Round Room (Elektra/Warner) Rating: NN Rating: NN
All Phish albums should come packaged with a big ol' joint. The band's oeuvre is the organic equivalent of trance music: the tunes ain't bad, but they just seem incredibly dull unless you're high. Sure, there are moments of lovely freedom-dance-friendly balladry (Anything But Me is a latter-day granola vamp of the Dead's Brokedown Palace), but for the most part Phish's new studio disc is unrelenting, noodly organ-and-guitar repetition melding psych-rock, hippie guitar folk and a bit of diluted ska. The blissed-out jam tracks are like goldfish with two-minute memories -- they start out with a pat riff (lyrical and melodic) in one direction and circle back to bite their own tails until someone scoops 'em up with a net eight minutes later and flushes 'em down the toilet.