It’s been fun to observe the musical turn Caleb Landry Jones has taken in recent years. Not simply content with being our generation’s Crispin Glover—a weedy, creepy impression left in Twin Peaks, Get Out, and Heaven Knows What, and his Cannes-winning turn in Nitram—he’s tried his hand at being the new Syd Barrett. The results have been largely successful, and when we talked to him last year Jones had a practical approach to staying unique. One among many choice quotes: “I’ve been fortunate to not have to adhere to some of those pressures, of looking at it more like a business and less like a medium [Laughs] for an artist to work in.”

That freedom comes across entirely in Gadzooks Vol. 2, his follow-up to last year’s record and third overall. I’ve been listening to it on and off, as both a single stream of consciousness and with ear for individual tracks, over the last few weeks, and I sense no sign of Jones’ innovations slowing down. Case in point: my favorite track “The Shanty Shine” starts as a Nirvana-like growl before turning into manic, psychedelic dance—then goes three or five other places with zest and brio, leaving seemingly nothing to chance.

Fat chance it breaks him into a mainstream context, but the likes of driving percussion in “Slink on Fido” or bouncy vocals of “The Puppet Rush” hardly render it unapproachable. If these records have struck me as cult objects awaiting anointment, the completion of this Gadzooks duology (though we’d welcome a third part) only vindicates my suspicion.

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