On their fourth long-player, the Iowa power trio breathes new life into old-school acid rock.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you can judge an album by its artwork. Radio Moscow’s fourth long-player for Alive Naturalsound—and their debut was produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach—features an Amanita Muscaria mushroom prominently displayed over a psychedelic backdrop.

Of course, you don’t need to be chomping down smurf houses to feel the mind-melting heaviness of “Death of a Queen,” the first previewed song from Magical Dirt. The Story City, Iowa, trio kicks off this one with singer/guitarist Parker Griggs riffing on some Hendrixian chords before drummer Paul Marrone and bassist Anthony Meier kick-start things like a V-twin engine from a ’69 shovelhead chopper. When Griggs’ vocals come in wailing, it’s hard not to think of that line in Blue Cheer’s “Babylon” where Dickie Peterson sang, “The blues ain’t nothing but a good man feeling bad.”

The melodies squeezed from Griggs’ fretboard tangle and unravel with the tension and intensity of hyperventilation. Over choppy rhythm-section stops and starts, Griggs’ guitar solo somehow manages to flow upward and outward, ascending into a lysergic-laced cacophony. Never before has a bad trip sounded so good. radiomoscow.net

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

Luthier Dave Helmer shows you how to cure buzzy strings, bad intonation, gnarly frets, high action, and other common troubles with off-the-shelf axes.

Guitars are the best. We love them. It’s fun to fall in love with a guitar at a store, buy it, and proudly bring it home. But we’ve all been there … where after a month that new guitar is just not playing as good as it was before. As guitar players, we know what feels good and what feels bad when it comes to playability. Maybe you have setup preferences that you like on all your guitars, or maybe you want to experiment with changes to your setup?

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