by John Tarpley
Breathlessly and with a Southern drawl still intact, The Black Angels mine those chemical, aluminum balloon sounds from the brooding parts of the late '60s. Flower power it ain't. Over the course of three albums, the band has drawn from '90s sonic alchemists Spiritualized; their Austin, Texas, psych forebears 13th Floor Elevators; and, there's no doubt, the band that spawned every other great band of the last 45 years: The Velvet Underground. (The band's logo nods at Lou & Co., too, with its inverted picture of femme fatale Nico.) All this fuzzy, sludge-y, unrushed swagger gets fermented with a trip-hop beat and — presto bango! — you've got a great soundtrack for your next witch coven group grope. The band's newest album, "Phosphene Dream," is a terribly-named but unbelievable-sounding album that opens with the band's best track yet, "Bad Vibrations." YouTube has a video, filmed by Billboard, of the band conjuring up the song on a downtown rooftop. Check it out. If you're in, there are tons more where that came from.
Check it out: "Doves" (live @ Canal+, France)