music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
It’s a well-documented fact that The Black Angels are ‘60s psychedelic rock revivalist, and that is further solidified on the group’s latest, Indigo Meadow. On each album, The Austin, Texas quartet brings a different musical inspiration to its central focus: Love, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators. For Indigo Meadow, that would primarily—but not exclusively—be the Doors.
The Black Angels’ songs are couched in far more hiss and fuzz than the Doors turning them into the tunes of a psychedelic garage rock band. At times, however, such as on “Always Maybe” with its shuddering organs and poetic strain, or on the crazed organs of “I Hear Colors (Chromoaesthesia),” it sounds like The Black Angels have uncovered some lost Jim Morrison tapes.
The Black Angels don’t keep strictly to the classic past of rock; they channel early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Spiritualized more than once. Case in point, the static drones of “Evil Things” and “Twisted Light.” Perversely “You’re Mine” sounds like BRMC filtered through a Laugh-In interlude, particularly on the chorus, where you’re taken over by the urge to do The Swim.
Despite coming across as what could be considered borderline pastiche, Indigo Meadow’s reproduction of throwback sounds comes from a genuine place, check out the squalls of “Love You Forever” or the rough grinds of “War On Holiday.” So genuine that it sounds pretty good right now.