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Rick Bain and The Genius Position - Crooked Autumn Sun 2xLP (Orange Vinyl and Amber Vinyl)

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It's not immediately clear what Rick Bain is up to, but that's not a bad thing; "Crooked Autumn Sun," the debut album from Bain and his band, the Genius Position, is more intriguing for revealing itself gradually. The opening song is called "Three Chord #1," and the quartet does dabble in the sort of '60s pop rock that title evokes. Yet the Portland, Ore., singer-songwriter and his group are also a little bit alt-country, somewhat psychedelic and even capable of lengthy instrumental workouts.

Bain used to play in a band with Dandy Warhols drummer Brent DeBoer, and his current sound has a kinship with the Warhols' cocktail of rootsy and trippy. The Genius Position takes most songs at a woozy stroll, with organist Joe Kaczmarek endowing an appropriately circa-1967 ambience to lines like "sunburned brain cells all the way" and "it's much better when you're high." Yet most of these blissed-out tunes are reportedly about a volatile romantic relationship. Balanced between endless summer and persistent bickering, songs like "So Good" and "Not Now" are a pretty good trip.-- Mark Jenkins (The Washington Post)