Man, is Austin, Texas the new Seattle? Have I missed something here? For this edition of Desert Island, we review kick ass psychedelic rock band, The Black Angels. I first became acquainted with The Black Angels last year when Roy Orbit’s own, Fotis Louzakos (by the way, Roy Orbit’s latest single, “Sonar Girl” is the absolute tits. Infectious as all hell.) told me about them in passing. Two seconds after they were brought up and they’ve already been forgotten from my mind. Fast forward six months later: There I am watching the first episode of HBO’s “True Detective” and somewhere during the course of the episode I heard The Black Angel’s song “Young Men Dead” from their debut album, Passover. The thing is I didn’t know that I was listening to The Black Angels and I certainly didn’t know that the song was from their album (that extra info came at the end of the episode, where I obsessively sought the song out the only way I knew how… I typed out the only line I could remember from the song hoping that would narrow the search down and produce some results.) “Fire for the hills/pick up your feet and let’s go…” Automatically, the first result to pop up was the music video for the song “Young Men Dead”. Bingo!
I was taken by a nostalgic wave from the first listen.
I instantly dug the song; and, after thirty minutes of listening to it on repeat, I went out to my local Best Buy and purchased the album proper. I was taken by a nostalgic wave from the first listen. Passover kicks off with “Young Men Dead”, but since I already knew I liked that song, I skipped on ahead to the next one. “First Vietnamese War” is like a heavy drone march to the end and there I was again, with that feeling of nostalgia. The thing is that it wasn’t my own nostalgia I was reliving. The Vietnam War officially ended five years before I was ever born, but still the feeling lingered.
Everything was right with Passover and The Black Angels had me within the first nine minutes of this fifty minute and thirty-seven second album. This is one of those albums where there are no bad songs. There are no fillers of any kind to be found on this gem.
The Black Angels are dark and inviting and they’ll have you too upon first listen.
The Black Angels lead vocalist, Alex Maas has a vocal style unlike let’s say that other psychedelic son, Mr. Mojo Risin himself, James Douglas Morrison, but just like Jim had that whole shamanistic thing going for him, Alex exudes that same shaman like feeling as he spews out his lyrics. There really is nothing comparable between The Black Angels and The Doors musically, so why make the connection, right? Well, like The Doors, The Black Angels had that certain sort of something in the music that just pulled you in and didn’t let you go until the album was done. All the pieces fit with The Doors and that’s why that band worked. It wasn’t the Jim Morrison show, Jim was only one component to this strange brew of excellence and the Black Angels are no different.
I waited but a few days after picking up Passover before I found myself back at Best Buy. I needed the Black Angels entire discography. The Black Angels had me and they didn’t even know it. The Black Angels are dark and inviting and they’ll have you too upon first listen, you only need to allow yourself to be taken over, which won’t be hard at all to do. Your world will seem a bit more euphoric and you only have The Black Angels to thank for that.
Want more from The Black Angels? Of course you do! Please feel free to check them out here:
Please feel free to pick up Passover right here!