Austin band The Black Angels both anticipated the current tide of psychedelic-revival rock, on their 2006 debut album Passover, and survived the glut of trippy, meandering music that still constitutes a chunk of under-the-radar rock a decade later. By sticking to their own blend of hard rock and blues-infused psych—instead of the dreamier offshoots of artists like like Kurt Vile—The Black Angels carved out a niche for themselves alongside myriad other bands pulling from similar influences like The Black Keys, Foxygen, Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
The difference between The Black Angels and their contemporaries is that they've held hard and fast to these late-'60s roots, while Foxygen graduated to the '70s, the Black Keys descended into hollow cliché, and Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra jumped ship to the party anthems that some bands seem to need to stay afloat commercially. Meanwhile, last year's Death Song finds The Black Angels keep delving ever deeper into dark, twisting soundscapes, raw energy, and hooky guitar-focused songwriting. Their lovingly rendered revival of the underground music of days past seems not to care for the fleeting trends that perhaps helped give the band a boost in the place, and maybe that explains why The Black Angels' well-deserved audience has remained entranced. —Reid Kurkerewicz
Madison, Wisconsin, est. 2014
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