Album ReviewsReviews

The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

on April 05, 2013, 12:00am
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The resurgence of psychedelic rock has been steadily building strength, and it has washed up a wave of jangly guitars and an undertow of echo. The more popular groups in the genre have been on the lighter side (UMO), or at the darkest, hitting upon a Piper at the Gates of Dawn feel (Ty Segall/White Fences/et al). Not many have delved into the shadowy reaches, but Austin veterans The Black Angels have been changing that. Their new album, Indigo Meadow, is a psychedelic fever dream filled with oil projections and black corners.

The opening title track sets the tone with Stephanie Bailey’s deep ritualistic drumming exploding into a swirling, horror film organ and guitar line. Alex Maas’ vocals have a Syd Barrett tone and a Lou Reed edge that bounces around the music in a distorted reverb haze, as he belts the chorus, “Always indigo, always indigo.” Christian Bland’s inventive guitar work and Kyle Hunt’s buzzsaw keyboards add another level of depth to the song, making it otherworldly.

Indigo Meadow features wonderful interplay between Bailey’s animalistic, driving drums, Bland and Hunt’s hand-in-hand instrumentation, and Maas’ fuzzy pipes. They can have a fun and playful sound (“Don’t Play with Guns” and “The Day”, both sounding so essential to the ’60s that it’s unreal) but also haunt with a bone-chilling presage (“Holland”, with a chorus of “I’d rather die than be with you tonight”).

Hat tip then to the immaculate production by John Congleton (David Byrne & St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky). Every crack and corner sounds crisper and more succinct than the straggly facets of psychedelic rock today, and it’s clear that’s what’s been missing. The Black Angels don’t meander or mince words, and Indigo Meadow is a testament to that ideology.

Essential Tracks: “Holland”, “Don’t Play With Guns”, and “Indigo Meadow”

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Juan
June 13, 2013 at 12:07 am

Awesome Album… Very different to their previous 3. Solid 8 / 10 I would say. Lyrics, not a fan, but the music itself, unreal!!! The music itself man is a solid 11 / 10! And hey, lucky us, Melbournians, they’re playing next week at the Palace! Yesssss.

Now, Nick Freed, big FAIL on the Essential Tracks mate…
Real Essential Tracks from this album: Love me forever, Always maybe, Broken Soldiers, and above all I HEAR COLORS!!! I’m hopping they’re gonna play it live…

garrett
May 17, 2013 at 12:03 am

I love this album. Id give it a solid 7.5 out of ten.

Its not my favorite angels record though. Phosphene Dream and Passover are hard to beat. Ive seen this band three times and i can safely say they are my favorite band to come out in the last ten years

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