Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Black Angels Go Indigo & Show # 451

Austin, Texas Psych Garage Rock band The Black Angels released their fourth full length album Indigo Meadow on April 2nd, 2013. On this album the band shows us their heavier Psychedelic side, adding more organ and Pop hooks, all mixed up in a sun baked Texas style haze. Many critics have claimed that this album isn’t really different from their previous releases, but this album slowly builds on the Psychedelic sounds of Phosphene Dream adding a new type of heaviness that some may classify as Grunge influenced, while at the same time reverting to catchy Garage Nuggets styled hooks.

“Indigo Meadow” opens the album, with its fuzzy bass, dissonant guitar parts and heavy pounding drum beats, as vocalist Alex Maas executes the lyrics “Always Indigo” in a Syd Barrett fashion, “Evil Things” comes in next which emphasizes the Grunge styled influenced that was mentioned earlier, but with enough of a Psychedelic edge to keep the listener hooked. This is one of the tracks in which critics have claimed is lacking in the lyrical department, however it is a song like songs the band has been writing for years as they strike an apocalyptic chord with their catchy choruses, Doors styled organ and lumbering fuzzy riffs. “Don’t Play With Guns” has been attracting ever since it was released as a pre-cursor preview to Indigo Meadow. The song moves along with its Horror movie organ stabs, swirling Psychedelic guitar supplied by Christian Bland, heavy distortion and a catchy chorus. Contrary to some beliefs this song, while it seems to be written based on the recent tragic mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, it was written a year before this occurrence. However this song reveals a poignancy that any listener can identify with as it tells the story of Josephine. This was best described by vocalist Alex Maas on http://www.theblackangels.com/info:

“In ‘Don’t Play With Guns’ the antagonist is a female who has the power of persuasion over a man,” he continues. “Substitute the female antagonist with a Nation, substitute the manipulated man with yourself. Heed the warning: Don’t Play With Guns.”

Other highlights on this album include the slow, organ fuelled Psychedelic trip of “Holland”, The Nuggets-era Doors influenced “The Day”, “You’re Mine” is a catchy fuzzy Zombies/60s Garage Nugget-era induced track and one of the Poppiest tracks found on this album, as “I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)” drips with acid induced images and backwards sounding effects, building on sounds found on 2008’s Directions To See A Ghost. The album also addresses several political themed messages, not counting “Don’t Play With Guns”, on songs such as “War On Holiday” and “Broken Soldiers”. “War On Holiday” looms musically as lyrics such as “We’re wounding and dying/making no change” and “I found one of us/wounded yet fine/It’s sad how I found/We sleepwalking around” filter into the listeners mind, while “Broken Soldier” attacks with hypnotizing guitar/organ riffs. “Broken Soldier” features lyrics such as “It’s hard to kill when you don’t know whose side you’re on” and “Will you be the same when this is over/You’ll never be the same when this is over”, these lyrics coupled with the lyrics found on “War On Holiday” tap into the social subconsciousness that we are all thinking about regarding war, yet projecting the dark, yet realistic realities that these situations result in.

Indigo Meadow ends with the track “Black Isn’t Black” a song which hints that perhaps despite all this apocalypse-themed imagery that there is a glimmer of hope, ending the album in slow creepy intense, yet somewhat positive note. This is backed up when we hear the lyrics “Before I met you/Blackness everywhere” and “Girl when I see you/I think the world’s OK”. Overall, Indigo Meadow may have similarities to previous releases from the bands past, but it also gleams with its super production supplied by John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, David Byrne & St. Vincent) emphasizing the growing development and journey that the band is to and has taken. While it may not be that obvious to some, Indigo Meadow blooms and burns slowly with profound insights, incandescent thoughts and Psychedelic goodness.

This Week's Play List:

1. Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter Thumb Buster
2. Brazilian Money – Slowly Soaking Up Some Rays On A Sofa
3. The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage – Bloody Beach Blanket
4. Future of The Left - Stand By Your Manatee
5. Anagram - Favourite Place
6. PIssed Jeans - Cafeteria Food
7. Woodsman Orphan – One Year
8. Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason
9. Deerhunter - Memory Boy
10. Husker Du – Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill
11. Orphan Choir – New Rituals
12. The Action – Downtown Boy
13. The Demics – The Grey And The Black
14. Ramones – She's The One
15. X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents
16. Gang of Four – Ether (Live The Second Chance, Ann Arbor, MI 1981)
17. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs – Do Ya Feel It Too?
18. Doldrums - Sunrise
19. Patti Smith Group - Distant Fingers
20. Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
21. Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
22. Black Angels - Evil Things
23. Black Angels – The Day

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 9. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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