The Black Angels
Phosphene Dream - Blue Horizon
FILTER Grade: 86%
By Daniel Kohn on September 8, 2010
For a band that cites The Velvet Underground as one of its influences, Austin-based rockers The Black Angels have a psychedelic sound that is more reminiscent of the 13th Floor Elevators than of Reed and company. Alex Maas’s vocals are refreshingly haunting, channeling a darker Neil Young, while Christian Bland’s heavy guitar is anything but what his last name would suggest. From the moody “Bad Vibrations” to the Brit-pop rocker “Sunday Afternoon,” which has a sharp, face-melting guitar solo, the Angels don’t stray far from the lo-fi psychedelica that made their first two albums popular. With a haunting tone and menacing lyrics, “River of Blood” takes some of the best elements of the band’s influences and makes it theirs. With an intense, brooding sound, Phosphene Dream is the perfect album for those who want to take a trip to the dark side.