The Black Angels Prove Black Is Beautiful

I wasn’t much of a fan of Black Oak Arkansas, I enjoy but don’t need the Black Keys, and the Black Crowes leave me cold.  Black Sabbath?  Please. Still, I’m ready for a show in basic black.  How ’bout a triple bill of The Black Angels, Black Mountain, and BRMC? The Black Angels would probably have to go first to warm up the crowd, since they’re less well known than Black Mountain or the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.  Plus, they’d set the proper mood, which is to say, trance.

Austinites, they do not come from the same musical neighborhood as Flaco Jimenez.  It’s nice to know that after Roky Erickson, the words “Texas” and “psychedelia” don’t automatically lead to discussions about Tex Watson.  I think what really got me about these guys was “Bloodhounds on My Trail,” which is mesmerizing.  Think of “Hellhound On My Trail” done by a supergroup starring Lydia Lunch, John Fogerty, and Peter Green.

I’m not just trying to be clever about the links to Black Mountain and BRMC — these guys are jacked into the same amps both those disparate, not necessarily kindred, but nonetheless spiritually linked bands play.  Their debut album “Passover” brought comparisons to the Velvet Underground, Galaxy 500, the Gun Club, and Led Zep.  Can’t go wrong with those references thrown in the blender. Their second album, “Directions To See A Ghost,” adds the Fall’s descending guitar lines to the BRMC dynamic, and cops song structures from “Astronomy Domine”-era Floyd.  Alex Maas has this weirdly androgynous voice, and when the levee breaks, he slightly drowns in Robert Plant’s lower registers.

Missed them at the Rock and Roll Hotel, where I think they opened for the Warlocks — more kindred spirits.  When John Cale wrote “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” who knew that someday these guys would catch its wind?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: