The Black Angels – [Live]

Tuesday, 01 November 2011

It’s been over forty years since the acid wave swept through music and gave birth to a genre dependant on mind-altering drugs and extended jam sessions. Unlike ska and swing, psychedelic rock hasn’t had a resurgence…but why not?  With driving guitars which are, by turns, loud and melodic along with bold and haunting vocals, this is music with a fan base which could totally belong in the mainstream.

Black Angels are proudly of the psychedelic genre. Epic and dark and mysterious, and apparently able to sell out a large club on a Monday night, they seem ready for a mainstream audience, under the above reasoning. Fans of Black Angels  (a collection of twenty-something college kids and career burnouts) mobbed to the front of the room for openers Dead Meadow, a dirty and slow psych outfit who led perfectly into the Angels set. The Angels were dimly lit and set behind large vintage organs and droves of effect pedals. With very few words to the crowd, and eyes shielded behind a news boy hat, Alex Maas’ unique and shrill vocals filled the room with Stephanie Bailey’s dominant drums chugging in time. The set list was long with songs that ranged from seven to ten minutes making the show feel like one extended jam of psychedelic purist Sixties rock. Fan favorites “Young Men Dead” and “Bad Vibrations” played early and it wasn’t long before the inebriated and massively stoned crowd began to sway and hop aggressively out of  sync with over-enthusiastic appreciation.

By the time the Angels were finished you felt like you were living in a different time. The music doesn’t compare to anything contemporary and don’t be surprised if the Angels lead a new resurgence of psych rock, tricking the new young generation into thinking its brand new.



The Black Angels' North American tour continues. Click here for a list of upcoming shows.

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