Upon the first spin of the eponymous debut from Croatian psych-pop trio Pridjevi, it's hard not to mistake the cavernous production, swirling childlike vocals, and tinny, serpentine guitar lines for a newly unearthed Os Mutantes production. Performed exclusively in Dino Santaleza, Ivana Picek, and Nina Romić's native tongue, the nine-track set offers up a dizzying blend of baroque pop, pseudo-tropicalia, trebly acid rock, and psych-blasted worldbeat that invokes names like Comus, Temples, Goat, and Dungen. The trio wastes little time getting to the meat of its hallucinogen-fueled mission with the brooding, jangly, and almost reggae-esque opener "Ako Je," a relatively short yet wholly immersive slab of hypnotic ink-blot rock that dutifully sets the stage for the vapor trail-heavy light show to come. Trace elements of Eastern European folk music make their way into tracks like "Kantarion," "Svijet Na Dlanu," and "Ubila Sam Cvijet," but Pridjevi are so married, sonically, to their muses that it can be difficult to parse anything distinctly Croatian, outside of the vernacular, from the proceedings. Standout cuts like the lush and lugubrious "Pjesma O Drvecu" and the more propulsive yet no less mesmerizing and melancholic "Ubila Sam Cvijet" build to a chaotic crescendo on a foundation of North African-inspired rhythms and hymn-like circular melodies, sounding a bit like the world's weirdest AM radio feed caught between the desert blues of Tinariwen and Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man." The distinctly Portuguese-flavored bossa-freak folk closer "Tuzna" puts a nice cap on things, offering up an unequivocal tip of the hat to the aforementioned Brazilian psych-rock pioneers who figure so heavily in their sound, while maintaining the off-kilter cosmopolitan feel of the album as a whole.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger