I always appreciated Mazzy Star for their ability to stretch a single trick -- swirly, drony paeans of yearning love in D-major -- over the course of a handful of albums without having their songs seem totally stale. The Hoa-Hoa's have a similar approach on their Flower Flowers disc, though their echoey, mushroom-hallucinatory psych-rock dirges tend toward minor-key creepiness instead of bright opiate bliss. The songs here are straightforward: reverbed guitar strumming in lethargic 4/4 time with occasional syncopated rhythms, wavering vocal chants (sung sometimes by a fey British fella, sometimes by a smoky, sullen babe) that become nonsensical mantras by the third or fourth repetition. By track four, they toss in wheezing keyboards and a 60s shuffle, and the tinny desperado acoustic guitar on Bottles is a nice change of pace. But with 12 tracks clocking in at over an hour, there's too much filler to let you soak in the highlights.
The Hoa-Hoa's slide into Lee's Palace Saturday (January 14).