On BOSS, Magik Markers compose and perform actual songs, which is a major left turn for these noiseniks, whose reputation paints them as free-rockers damaged by tangled strings and headless beats. Under the helm of producer Lee Ranaldo, the duo tempers its energy into mud-caked psych rock for a moonless American wasteland. Elisa Ambrogio mainly sings in an exhausted washing woman's pace on dirges like "Axis Mundi" and the wearied, elegant piano ballad "Empty Bottles." The Markers' habit of collapsing into white noise rarely figures here, but they indulge in irritating loops of tortured screams on "Circle." Overall, BOSS signals a healthy direction for a band that otherwise kisses the plastic explosives strapped to its chest.