Saturday, 18 March 2017

THE BLACK ANGELS - DEATH SONG (Partisan Records 2 x LP, CD, D/L).

Arguably the most important Neo-Psych band of this decade, The Black Angels return with their first full-length release in four years and their debut for Partisan Records. After a short hiatus, the prime-movers behind the world renowned Levitation Festival are back with a brand new album, Death Song, who’s title acknowledges one of the band’s early influences and from where they took their name…….. ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’ from the first Velvet’s LP. Death Song is an 11-track collection of new songs that offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound…….menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream. Perfectly comfortable with who they are, The Black Angels feel no need to radically alter their sound to chase a bigger audience and the new album is a natural successor to the Indigo Meadow album from 2013 and the Clear Lake Forest EP from a year later, with a more expansive sound evolving organically. Recorded between Seattle and Austin, ‘Death Song’ features production from Phil Eck (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins) and is a real tilt at crossing over from being a cult band to more mainstream success without sacrificing any of the elements that made The Black Angels such a great band in the first place.

Written and recorded in large part during the recent U.S. election cycle, the music on Death Song serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. ‘Currency’, a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building Psychedelic earworm ‘Half Believing’ questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion. Elsewhere, there is the obligatory nod to the band’s Austin Psych forefathers, the mighty 13th Floor Elevators, on ‘I’d Kill For Her’ (c’mon, it’s a Black Angels album……it’s expected!!), fuzzed up Psychedelic swirl outs ( ‘Comanche Moon’, ‘Hunt Me Down’ and the mind melting ‘Grab As Much (As You Can)’), the twisted disco of ‘Medicine’ and pulsing motrik grooves of the tripped out ‘I Dreamt’ and ‘Death March’. Closing with lysegic reverie of ‘Life Song’, the new Black Angels album is a total triumph from the moment the needle is dropped on track one, side one until it hits the run out grooves on the flip. Possibly the band’s best album to date and the one to suck the Indie Kids and Alt-Rock Dads into The Black Angels weird and wonderful Psychedelic Universe.

Due for release on the 21st of April, the album will be available on 2 x vinyl LP and CD and is available to pre-order now either from the Partisan Records store or direct from the band at where the album is available in various bundles with a ton of other band merch. Check it out People.

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