Jim James talking grandmothers, vans, flashes of light, and setlist staple, “Golden.” It’s been three years since Evil Urges and My Morning Jacket is long overdue for new material that doesn’t sound like “Highly Suspicious.” Hence next month’s Circuital, with its eponymous lead single that can only be described as My Morning Jackety.

After five albums, it may be myopic to think that the band is going to continue reinventing their sound. They might have entered the same stretch as Wilco, where new material typically involves minor tweaks to the formula. In MMJ’s case, they’re finding a balance between the moonlight yawps of At Dawn and the slightly psychedelic jams of It Still Moves.

It’s a good look for them — halfway between hayseed and hallucination. I suppose it depends what you’re looking for in a rock and roll band. They are not trying to be the Mountain Goats. MMJ are about Jim James’ halogen howl and pyrotechnic guitar solos and barbarian drum fills. You could probably describe them as meat and potatoes rock, but if so, they’re the best cut.

MP3: My Morning Jacket-“Circuital”

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