Chile is a country with a long psychedelic tradition, one that spawned figures like Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of the 1970 “acid western” El Topo, and the psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, whose ’60s work pioneered the use of MDMA in psychotherapy. More recently, the nation’s capital, Santiago, has played home to a number of cosmically inclined bands based around the Blow Your Mind label, including Föllakzoid and the Holydrug Couple — both of whom released fine records last year on Sacred Bones — as well as the trio La Hell Gang.
La Hell Gang’s second long-player — and first for Brooklyn’s Mexican Summer — lowers you into a gently bubbling vat of wah-wah guitar, low-slung boogie and heavy-lidded vocals, retrieving you 40-odd minutes later when it’s determined that you’re fully deep-fried. Like the work of, say, Wooden Shjips, Thru Me Again pulls off the smart trick of feeling both relaxed and heavy. The eight-minute “The Beginning Remains the End” is a good example of how they work — a slow build, winding gradually from sun-baked motorik to a relentless caveman pound scorched with strung-out blues licks. They do rock ‘n’ roll with a shake in the ass well, too, though, as evinced by “Last Hit” — a burly Comets On Fire-style bruiser with squalling solos that slide in and out of the mix.