Axxa/Abraxas, "Axxa/Abraxas"
Axxa/Abraxas, "Axxa/Abraxas" (Courtesy Photo)
Ben Asbury, the 23-year-old behind Axxa/Abraxas, sounds like he's a different age, or of a different age.

His arty psych-rock sounds like it could have been made in 1970, had the technology been available. It's got all the hallmarks with a modern production touch and the experimental drive. His self-titled album is all over the place, too. It opens with some space-age, ambient sounds before diving into psych organs and wavering guitars. "Same Signs" is a dreamy strummer on which Asbury sings in a falsetto, and it's followed up by the guitar-noodling rocker, "So Far Away."

But even when it ramps up, Axxa/Abraxas is dreamy and leaning more toward pop than hard rock. Its touches of psychedelic sounds are never dark, and there's a laid-back jamminess to some of the guitar melodies.

What holds it all together is a sense that Asbury is paying homage to his influences. The result isn't anything that stands out from other young musicians finding inspiration in old records. Asbury's odd voice helps make the music distinctly his, but again, that he makes it fun is what keeps you listening.


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