I always have high expectations for a band that I have decided to underscore as a favorite, or as a band to closely watch. If you’re going to catch and hold my heavily taxed attention, the music has to be very good. Austin-based The Black Angels is one with the favorite stamp. I check them out regularly. I scan for the possibility of a show nearby. And I always wait for new music from them. And after a lot of the so-so reviews of this album popping up, I decided that it was necessary to step in with a deserved defense of it.
The last album from The Black Angels, the excellent Phosphene Dreams (2010) was the band’s third studio effort, standing tall as a brilliant work of music. From the first album, The Black Angels (who derive their name from a song by Velvet Underground, “The Black Angel’s Death Song”) have delivered a brand of retro-flavored psychedelic rock like the kind heard in the late ’60s.
But to say that The Black Angels are intent on total replication of old school psychedelic music would be an unfair assessment of their art. With the new release of their latest album, Indigo Meadow (which can still be streamed widely across the internet courtesy of the band), The Black Angels give us a dynamic album of well written tunes.
Indigo Meadow ably champions the art of the revered Psychedelic Rock genre with lead-off single, “Don’t Play With Guns” (a song that deals with the unfortunate trend of shootings), and twelve other songs. “Evil Things”, “War on Holiday”, the good title track, and “Broken Soldier” highlight this album that strives to be the best that can be heard of Psychedelic rock in this day and age. Not only does it capture the essence of the past, it carries it forward to reward us fans of the genre. They also incorporate mind-bending art of the past era in their cover art. Indigo Meadow is no exception.
As far as I’m concerned, The Black Angels can do this for decades. I’ll be there to hear all that I can.
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Label: Blue Horizon Records
Availability: CD, DD, LP