The Black Angels – Passover

by oz on May 2, 2007

The Black Angels

I was in Chicago for our second HearYa session (it’ll be up tomorrow) a couple weeks ago and was stuck in O’Hare for 12 hours waiting for my flight home to San Jose. I was up for about 23 straight hours and O’Hare airport is about as comfortable and forgiving as a flared hemmorhoid when you’re stranded. There’s no place to sit down and chill out, the restaurants are all shitty and there are very few bars to drown your sorrows. It’s a miserable place.

As I swallowed up my frustration and bottled my rage, I looked to the iPod for solace. Normally I’d listen to something soft and soothing to restore my sanity, but not on this day my friends. I was beyond repair. Sometimes you just need music to match your dark moods without pushing you over the edge. The Black Angels were the perfect band to help me find relative comfort in my discontent.

I first caught The Black Angels in Austin at SXSW 2007 and hadn’t listened to their stuff previously. It was difficult to hear their sound with the heavy reverb at the show, but I’ve been listening to Passover non-stop for weeks now. It’s a dark record, but not overly depressing. The Black Angels have enough groove to keep you engaged through the entire album, which is laced with lyrics about death and war.

After listening to their first track, “Young Men Dead,” I kept thinking that this is what Grace Slick would have sounded like if she had a pair of testicles. The entire album has a fuzzy, 60’s psychadelia texture that moves gracefully from one song to the next while monotone vocals from Alex Maas lead you to march headlong into their songs of anguish. “The First Vietnam War” is arguably the strongest track and deserves to be in the next epic war movie soundtrack. Another bright spot for me is the blues-infused “Bloodhounds on My Trail.”

I normally don’t jump all over albums with heavy overtones of death and despair, but I’m still listening to this album religiously. Passover isn’t just another album. It’s an addiction.

Enjoy the tracks and check out all the videos. “The First Vietnam War” video reminds me a little of a Rage Against the Machine Video or Metallica’s “One” video.

The Black Angels – Bloodhounds On My Trail

The Black Angels – The First Vietnam War


The Black Angels – First Vietnam War Video
The Black Angels – Sniper at The Gates of Heaven Live Video

The Black Angels – The First Vietnam War Live Video

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody May 2, 2007 at 8:42 am

If Grace Slick had balls, she would have been Marty Balin.

Woody May 3, 2007 at 8:29 am

I also forgot to mention that Bloodhounds On My Trail is one of the finer songs I’ve heard this year.

You also forgot to mention the fantastic Black Mountain cover they did at SXSW.

Steve Shirk May 3, 2007 at 10:11 am

You also forgot to mention that it was at The Black Angels set at sxsw, that you met Joe Simpson.

The Black Angels are great! I think they are playing Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer.

oz May 3, 2007 at 7:07 pm

I actually remembered to mention it, but decided to leave out that detail to maintain some credibility. Thanks for ruining it forever.

I still owe Joe a call, now that his cell number is in my 5.

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