Director Michael Gondry showed good sense and taste by putting Anaheim's Willowz on the soundtracks of two of his movies. DJ Steve Aoki went one step further, signing the multi-genre critical darlings to his label, Dim Mak.

It's a great fit since the Dim Mak roster includes artists as diverse as Har Mar Superstar and Blood Brothers.

The new Willowz album, Chautauqua, is equally contrasting, moving from swaggering garage rock (opening cuts “Beware” and “Take a Look Around”), through psych-rock to country/blues rock (“Yesterday's Lost” and twangy “Jubilee,” a Jack White meets Robert Johnson amalgam).

On 2005's Talk in Circles , Willowz proved they could deliver the goods without losing their garage-rocking charm. On Chautauqua , Willowz confirm that adding detailed gestures (piano, organ and heavy guitars, in particular) doesn't dilute the underlying bravado that has made them both an envious buzz band and a compact, scrappy rock machine.

Grade: A