I may have brought The Black Angels up in conversation in the past, but listening to them again just revitalizes all of the cool feelings I get from listening to them all the way through their 2010 release, Phosphene Dream.
Formed way back in 2004, this Austin, Texas band has developed a nice little following. In naming themselves, this four-member band used Velvet Underground’s tune, “The Black Angel’s Death Song”. And I have to say that I like it. Not only does it tie them firmly to the past with its rich history of Psychedelic bands like 13th Floor Elevators, and many others from the 1967-68 period, it sets them apart from a wealth of crazy names currently in use. The Black Angels is a kind of Rock name you could expect back in the late ’60s as music prepared for entrance into the ’70s.
Psychedelic music, although short-lived, left a great impression on many FM listeners and underground connoisseurs back then. It provided an audience with identity as opposed to the Top40 (which wasn’t bad) music of the time. In fact, FM radio streams grew greatly out of such music.
The music is unmistakably built from a template of the past. You want to call it fresh, but it’s hardly that. Instead, we come up with something better. The music style hardly left because we desired a better sound. Rather, it left because music was too evolutionary too fast.
The Black Angels’ beautiful retro blast of warm and friendly times is the showcase of anything that comes from them. Wonderfully nostalgic, The Black Angels craft new music that is as resilient and listenable as anything that Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized can come up with. It can also be said that The Black Angels can run with the best of the originals.
I suggest that you reach into a bit of The Black Angels via methods like streaming services like Spotify, Last FM, SoundCloud, or YouTube to see if this band can do you proud.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you do, they have a wealth of availability including vinyl LP, CD, DD, and what is sure to be a rare collectible, a Record Store Day release of “Watch Out Boy” b/w “I’d Rather Be Lonely” on 7″ orange wax (which includes a free download of their cover of “She’s Not There”, originally by the Zombies).
Head off to their site and get introduced to the band by several videos that encompasses quite a bit of the page as you enter. It’s all cool.