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Black Angels: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Nov 24 2010

The Black Angels probably adore their smartphones, or iPads, or whatever 21st-century contraptions they're into, but you just know they'd kill to have been around for the '60s and '70s. The Austin band has spent a career unashamedly mining the threatening, often grotesque world of psychedelia once dominated by the Zombies and the 13th Floor Elevators. First, the optical illusions featured on the Angels' LP covers set the mood. Once the music kicks in, follow the perilously delayed guitars, feverish organs, and plodding tambourine smacks to come face to face with a nightmarish void. On the new Phosphene Dream, Alex Maas sings about emotional manipulation, abandonment, a sniper who "waits on the killing call," and "sitting ducks" strewn about a "River of Blood." There are occasionally frivolous turns ("Entrance Song" revels in riding down desolate highways), but, by and large, the Black Angels exist to suck you into a murky, aged undercurrent.

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Reyan Ali

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