Austin’s – nay, North America’s – finest proponents of drone-drenched psych-rock The Black Angels are prolific, to say the least. With an album released at least every other year since 2006, the Texans can fairly churn out the jams, and are back with their fifth full-length effort, Indigo Meadow.
While their bio may describe them as “experimental”, The Black Angels’ music has always been the psych-est of shadowy psych-rock; and fans of the band can rest easy in the knowledge they haven’t tried to change the formula in 2013. Fuzz, drone, crushing riffs, and brooding lyrical themes are the backbone once more.
The subject of the title track and opener appears to be a girl who has “been a problem since the moment I met ya” and who singer Alex Maas tells “you always cause unreal friction,” reinforcing the fact that this is one bunch of cats who don’t do love songs.
Middle-eastern-tinged ‘Love Me Forever’ starts off being equal parts The Byrds, John Lennon, and Page & Plant in their Egyptian phase, before unleashing a crushing riff that devastates everything before it. ‘Always Maybe’ sounds closest to ‘Bad Vibrations’ off Phosphene Dream, while one listen to the start of ‘Don’t Play With Guns’ is enough to induce sudden outbursts of air guitar or a blast of enthusiastic fist pumping if you’re that way inclined.
While in many ways it’s more of the same for the quartet, the songs are generally shorter and sharper, and while it could be argued that Indigo Meadow won’t win the band any new fans, it’s another epic chapter in the career of one of the mightiest psych-rock bands of the last few years. (Blue Horizon Ventures)