The Black Angels Flutter Their Wings

Kismet might seem to be at work this week, given that Black Mountain releases a new album, Wilderness Heart, that sounds like a great Led Zeppelin record, and Robert Plant releases an album, Band of Joy, that is as fresh as produce from a farmers market and maybe just as tasty.  It can’t be an accident, though, that another one of the Black bands — The Black Angels — have alighted once more on Earth, flapping their wings and spreading their own gospel of paranoia, intrigue, and thundering drums. You see, they’re going out on tour with Black Mountain, and it’s not bloody likely the two bands “accidentally” released albums the same day.

When their eponymous debut came out midway through the last decade, followed by the sublime Passover, we thought The Black Angels were  charter members in the psychedelic punk club, playing atmospheric space rock with a kick. But the new ‘un, Phosphene Dreams, has these shape-shifting songs that punch their way through the fog to reveal melodies, hooks, and heapin’ slabs ‘o chewy goodness, like the best baked spiked brownies.

Reference points here are as disparate in nature, if similar in time frame, to their Austin forebears The Thirteenth Floor Elevators and The Doors. Some time ago we might have thought of them in the same category as The Warlocks, although maybe playing axes not so bold.  On Phosphene Dreams, though, The Black Angels play like they’ve locked the doors of the Shindig set and they and the whole studio audience have quaffed a flagon of soma…and the shadows we see on our black and white television are mesmerizing to an extent that only later do we realize it wasn’t the fault of that rabbit ear antennae.

Can’t wait for The Black Angels to open for Black Mountain at the 9:30 Club on November 7th.

One Response to “The Black Angels Flutter Their Wings”

  1. […] albums in 2010, before these guys.  But the best of the black bands were The Black Angels, whose Phosphene Dreams was a revelation.  Earlier Black Angels’ albums have been one-dimensional affairs, and […]

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