The Black Angels – Directions To See A Ghost

by oz on August 7, 2008

Black Angels

Man, I do this once every couple months. I spend quality time with a phenomenal album and then never even mentioned it to you. We first saw The Black Angels at South By Southwest 2007 while randomly hanging out with Joe Simpson in the crowd. It was really surreal seeing a trippy psychedelic band next to Joe Simpson. I think Drinking Buddy’s man-crush on Mr. Simpson may only be trumped by Woody’s infatuation with Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

I reviewed The Black Angels’ debut album, Passover, last year and mentioned that this is what Grace Slick might sound like if she had a set of testicles. I’m not sure if lead singer Alex Maas would like that description, but I swear I hear a bit of “White Rabbit” in every song. Directions To See A Ghost may seem like a conservative follow up to The Black Angels’ debut, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? The sound is still laden with reverb and fuzz and at first it didn’t smack me in the face like Passover. Passover has knockout tracks like “First Vietnam War” and “Bloodhounds On My Trail” but Directions To See A Ghost is a more complete package from beginning to end.

I never thought for a second that this was a sophomore slump, but I initially thought it was a parallel move for the band. The more I listen, however, the more I enjoy the subtle intensity in Directions To See A Ghost.‚  It is now several leaps ahead of The Black Angels’ debut in my mind and I’m sure it’ll be on lots of ‘Best of 2008’ lists at the end of the year.

If you’re like Woody and took copious amounts of drugs in your college days (and you were alive in the 60’s), then it’ll take no time to fall in love with this album.‚  If you notice them in your town, make your way through the hazy fog of smoke and get a glimpse of the band in person.

The Black Angels – You On The Run

The Black Angels – Mission District

From Passover:

The Black Angels – First Vietnam War

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody August 7, 2008 at 9:13 am

I think this album is stronger from beginning to end, but there isn’t a track as good as Bloodhounds On My Trail.

Baby81 August 7, 2008 at 10:32 am

I don’t think Directions.. is as good an album as Passover but I still think it’s a great album. I fell in love with The Black Angels within seconds of hearing the song Bloodhounds On My Trail.

TrueFan August 11, 2008 at 10:53 am

Dude I totally dig this album! Ive been listening to these new guys, Cobalt & the Hired Guns, that are kinda like them but have a folk twist…its really sweet. They are actually gonna be here in the Chi sometime this fall at this concert I heard about…www.myspace/cbgbfestival. Check it out…

Acapulco Gold January 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

Love this Band, will Love anything they do as long as they dont sell out:D

Daniel March 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

I thought Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was the epitome of rock music. I just discovered this ban 2 days ago and there music is mind blowing. They have redefined rock and roll for me. LOVE Never/Ever and Mission District.

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