Review: The Black Angels’ “Indigo Meadow”

The Black Angels' Alex Maas at the Prophet, a Dallas bar.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nffcnnr/6247466500/in/photostream/">nffcnnr</a>/Flickr Creative Commons

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

The Black Angels
Indigo Meadow
Blue Horizon Ventures

I was first introduced to The Black Angels back in 2007 as I wandered dusty Tennessee fields at the Bonnaroo music festival. As it happened, they were covering Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and I found myself drawn in. The Austin, Texas, four-piece has come a long way since then, releasing three studio albums and winning fans for their modern interpretations of ’60s-era psych rock.

It is impossible not to think of Pink Floyd or The Doors while listening to the new album, Indigo Meadow, which came out last week. The fuzzy, wobbling guitar and pounding bass immediately evoke a psychedelic-rock museum, revisiting the spacey riffs unearthed by Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd on Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and the acid-fueled organ of The Doors first album.

 

Stand-out tracks include “Always Maybe” and “Evil Things.” Simple and without pretension, Alex Maas’ droning voice and the band’s catchy guitar riffs make you want more: “Always/just one more” he sings on the former, evoking late nights at the bar, to a backdrop of blurry, dislocated sounds spliced with reverb and echoes. “Evil Things” is a bit speedier: “Making love on summer days / yeah it feels good to me.” How about this lyric? “Love is your drug / Love is your evil.”

The most interesting and serious track might be “Don’t Play With Guns,” penned after the Aurora Theater shooting in Colorado last year, which demonstrates the band’s ability to tackle political themes without being too heavy-handed. “Now Josephine, she was a loner,” Maas drones. “Her fortune of incredible lies / Her problems are now your problems / I hide a gun until the day she dies.” The tune is appropriately fuzzy, muddled, and disorienting, with that spacey guitar overlaid on driving fuzz-rock—a sound reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive.”

Overall, Indigo Meadow is neither a great departure for The Black Angels, nor any great musical revelation more generally. But, like the Angels’ past albums, it’s still a fine homage to the canon forged ages ago by the psych-rock giants.

Check ’em out:

Click here for more music coverage from Mother Jones.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate