Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Black Angels Clear Lake Forest & Show # 516

In 2010, The Black Angels took us through a Phosphene Dream. “Phosphenes” are flashes of light brought on by movement, this was followed up with a collection of outtakes from this album called Phosgene Nightmare, which was named after the infamous chemical gas Phosgene used in WWII. In 2013, The Black Angels released Indigo Meadow and finally in April 2014 we were brought to Clear Lake Forest. It seems as if this Austin psych band has been taking us through a journey of body and mind, combining a mixture of strange psychedelic garage rock sounds. Indigo Meadow was a strong offering that featured some heavier psychedelic sounds, but on Clear Lake Forest we are taken to a place where the band has increased their sense of vocal melodies. The Black Angels also blend elements of the psychedelic sounds that they have been known for with a bit of grimy blues and 60s pop.

“Sunday Evening” starts off Clear Lake Forest with fuzzy 60s garage styled riffs with a bassline reminiscent of The Beatles “Rain”, as the song builds up to its chorus and the songs tempo speeds up. The song sounds as if you are walking through a hazy fog, before you reach a clearing in the chorus. With lyrics such as “I’m so tired of your fears you have dear/I am tired of those fears we have dear/we’re on fire cause those fears they have dear” the band displays a sense of positivity in the lyrics to the opener of this EP. “Diamond Eyes” is a bit slower, playing into the band’s lethargic side. The guitars feature vibrations mixed in with light organ and lyrics that tells a relationship of two people getting both people’s point of view. With lyrics such as “It’s better than letting things die” and “I’ve seen him cut diamonds with her eyes/I’ve seen her cut diamonds with her eyes/They both cut diamonds with their mind”, Alex Maas and The Black Angels display a certain ugliness within these two characters. A diamond can represent a lot of things spiritually, one of which is it can reveal the inner truths of people. In this song it seems to reveals these characters unknowingness of each other and the beauty they try to project on each other, but one that falls short.

“The Flop” comes in next with its 60s driving garage organ and vibrations, while “An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street” delivers short organ stabs and drums, pulsing bass and sprawling guitar lines supplied by Christian Bland that fills in the spaces that this song brings forth. “The Executioner” displays yet another character, the one in its title who revels in his job and shows no sympathy. With the lyrics “If it feels good do it again/Twist in the wind/Do it again” and other lyrics in this song, they take on menacing connotations throughout. Musically the song features psychedelic guitar arpeggios with a hint of an underlying blues influence and a breakdown with vocals and guitar lost amongst a mass amount of delay and echo.

The album ends with the lengthy track “Linda’s Gone”. It is difficult to listen to this song without bringing up The Velvet Underground, as with all the band’s records there is an element of The Velvets. This song sounds like “Venus In Furs” and echoes of The Velvet Underground & Nico album mixed in with yet another blues element, but it also has a sort of Middle Eastern vibe. The song is a hazy and lethargic song that builds in its six minute and thirty-six second journey. This song also ends the album with an intense uneasy calmness. On Clear Lake Forest, The Black Angels once again display their strong dynamics as a band not changing their psychedelic sound too much, but by adding in a strong sense of melody and a bit of as mentioned earlier, grimy blues. The characters in the songs on Clear Lake Forest struggle with many different things, but at the end of the EP as we are told “Now Linda’s gone/And she’s moving on” we can see that the listener as well as the content of the album have finished their journey in seven songs at twenty eight minutes. As we reach the final clearing of Clear Lake Forest, we are left wondering where The Black Angels will lead us next.

Clear Lake Forest is being re-issued on July 22nd, 2014 on 12-inch clear vinyl.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. The Missing Links - You’re Drivin' Me Insane
2. Parquet Courts - Always Back In Town
3. The Lime Spiders - Slave Girl
4. Guided By Voices - Bulletin Borders
5. The Fresh And Onlys - Animal Of One
6. Television Personalities - Part Time Punks
7. The Only Ones - Breaking Down
8. Papermaps - Shadow Theatre
9. The Rapture - Pieces of The People That We Love
10. Damaged Bug - Sic Bay Surprise
11. Jaill - Stone Froze Mascot
12. David Bowie - Drive-In Saturday
13. The Clues - Almost Framed
14. The Marble Index - I Believe
15. Pointed Sticks - Telephone Song
16. Neil Young - Crazy
17. Locusts Have No King - Shotgun Wedding
18. Bob Mould - Little Glass Pill
19. Johnny Terrien and the Bad Lieutenants - Back To The Beach
20. 222’s - Always Around
21. Queens Of The Stone Age - In The Fade
22. Teenanger - Zons
23. The Visitors - Sad TV
24. The Police - Contact
25. Chelsea - I’m On Fire
26. The D4 - Exit To The City
27. UIC - Nashville Dreamin'
28. Ten Commandments - Feel It
29. Rumors - Hold Me Now
30. White Fence - Like That
31. The Black Angels - An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 5. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

No comments: