The Black Angels released Phosphene Dream back in September. It’s an album that finds the Austin outfit tightening things up, writing crisper songs, and putting out their finest effort to the date. We’ve neglected to review the album, but it’s one of 2010′s finest from a band we’ve grown to love more and more since catching a set at SxSW 2008.
The band stopped into Shirk Music + Sound to perform tracks off Phosphene Dream that included the album’s opener, “Bad Vibrations.” It’s a song that highlights their trademark fuzz and feedback-laden sound, combined with a chugging hook and decidedly up-tempo finish. The song sets the tone for an album that mixes elements of 60′s era pop with dark psychedelic rock, led by vocalist Alex Maas. I was eager to see how the band’s sound would translate in a live studio setting and they (along with Steve Shirk behind the controls) nailed it.
The Black Angels also pay homage to psych-rock predecessors in a recently released live DVD called Night of The Vampire. It’s footage from a 2008 performance with Roky Erickson, consisting of songs from Roky’s underrated 60′s Austin band, 13th Floor Elevators.
Check out The Black Angels’ album, the DVD, the session, and while you’re at it, get on Netflix and watch the Roky Erickson documentary You’re Gonna Miss Me. It’s incredible.
Video: The Black Angels – Entrance Song (live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: The Black Angels – Bad Vibrations (live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)