Like leopards changing their spots, New Yorker quartet Black Dice have turned 180 and turned back the clock with their third record. They've ditched the agitational art-punk angst that once seemed a tenet of their militant noisemaking religion to go spreading their bloody-spiritualist bloody wings, musically spiraling out in concentric kaleidoscopic circles whose circumvolutions wind the band's harking-back rock-clock back about, like, oh, a good decade. No longer claustrophobic No New York misanthropes, Black Dice are, if you believe your ears, now resting their faith in peace, love and music. Beaches & Canyons, as its title kinda attests, paints the combo not in the eyelinered shades of their troubled youth, man, but rather in all kinds of unwashed earthtones. With watery sound-effects and desolate stretches of open-air ambience, this disc evokes a musical great outdoors, trying to divine a path through the wilderness by trying its best to tap into the spirit of such free-wheeling spirits as Amon Düül, Ash Ra Temple, and Popul Vuh; in short, taking the path less traveled by even the most blown-out dudes of the psychedelic underground. What's a little surprising is how lustily Black Dice leap feet-first into this off-the-beaten out/kraut wandering. Perhaps concertedly, the album never really gathers into any kind of rhythmic chug; even its ecstatic moments of peaked-out jamming seem frenetic and chaotic, the ad-hoc intermittence of various noise-boxes favored over the precision of percussion. The result means that there's a lot of downtime on the disc, which, depending on the listener, is either a lot of open space to go wandering in, or just a lot of empty space.