When My Morning Jacket opened for the Foo Fighters at Hammerstein Ballroom in July, they were met with the usual opening-act polite applause. After the band’s third song, however, the crowd—who were very excited about the show’s other opener, Pete Yorn, so take this with a grain of salt—began shouting “Shut up, fags!” at the stage. In response to—or maybe in spite of—the audience reaction, Patrick Hallahan, MMJ’s drummer, thrust his sticks into the air in a classic I-am-a-golden-god silhouette, and held them there. And held them there. By the time he brought them down, the bridge and tunnel K-Rockers had been silenced by the power of rock ‘n’ roll.
It Still Moves is the band’s third album. Jim James’s Neil Young-ish voice is still whiny and far away, but it seems like the box he’s buried in is just six feet underground now instead of 20 like before. The songs are still structured with minimal vocals and long repetitive jams, but they seem more crafted this time, not just meandering soundscapes. And the rhythm section continues to be thumpy and really splashy—which is maybe what keeps it all from turning into black-light lava-lamp rec-room music. Smush Wayne Coyne’s drift and diddle with the hairy mystery of ZZ Top before they did car commercials, and you’ve got a band that makes Yankee music snobs salivate and displaced Southerners long for the comfort of a bass boat, a lake, a dog, and a sunset.