The Black Angels Indigo Meadow Blue Horizon Records
Article written by
Ged M - May 20, 2013
The fourth album from the Austin, Texas band is neo-psychedelia with strong echoes of classic psych sounds from the '60s: in here you'll find elements of the Doors, Love and, especially, fellow Texans the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. It's heavy on the fuzz, the phasing and the reverb, and the Vox Continental and Farfisa organs, and it combines equal parts melody and strangeness for a supreme pop-psych experience.
‘Don’t Play With Guns’ must sound immense live, great fuzzy psych pop with an anthemic, killer chorus of laser-beam precision. ‘Evil Things’ isn’t really evil, but has an insistent organ riff slicing through the fuzz to addictive effect and the title track is a sort of break-up song full of clanging guitars adding a sinister tone but maintaining an almost singalong feel. The purest psych comes with ‘I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)’, the pulsing, driving beat and the accelerating keyboards almost creating a light-show in your head, a very Arthur Lee-inspired tune with some excellent collective humming! ‘Holland’ is a mellow and melodic acid-psych comedown but darker still is the Doors-like ‘Broken Soldier’, reflecting the confusion of war with the admission “it’s hard to kill when you don’t know which side you’re on” and finding peace only with your partner, all accompanied by oppressive drones and effects. And to dispel the darkness, ‘Black Isn’t Black’ is snakey, beguiling psychedelia with some great guitar weirdness, that proves Henry Ford’s colour maxim wrong: “everywhere I look girl, blackness everywhere/ now here you come all dressed in white”.
On the one hand, you get what you expect from people coming from the town that runs the Austin Psych Fest and its associated label the Reverb Appreciation Society. But on the other, you get a band that use a format that has maintained its potency for nearly 50 years now, applying their fevered imaginations to twist familiar elements into strange, impassioned and catchy new combinations. Tune in and turn on.