The Black Angels
Indigo Meadow


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
April 2nd, 2013 | 24 replies | 5,673 views


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Black Angels enter the psychedelic pop realm.

Functioning as a 4-piece now, the neo-psychedelic rock act The Black Angels have dropped their 4th effort, aptly titled Indigo Meadow. Since the band have already had three rather strong records, expectations were quite high for Indigo Meadow, but fortunately, they deliver yet another enjoyable and interesting effort.

For those unaccustomed to these guys, The Black Angels take their cues mainly from 60's psychedelia such as The Doors or The 13th Floor Elevator. Also, pastiche acts like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, early Dandy Warhols, with a bit of shoegaze in the vein of The Jesus And Mary Chain and early 2000s Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have had an important role in shaping the band's sound. However, in contrast to their peers, The Black Angels haven't ventured much outside the comfort zone, opting to improve the same formula with each album. As a result, Indigo Meadow revolves around the same ideas, but it's a more dynamic, less abrasive offering compared with the likes of Passover or even its' predecessor, Phosphene Dream. Even if the production is more polished than usual, the tracks themselves are less repetitive, being more pop-oriented. Still, none of the band's charm is lost, in fact Indigo Meadow acts like one of their most consistent albums. They toy around with all the tricks learned over the course of a decade, contriving them into short, powerful numbers. No matter how much one likes them or not, it's hard not to admit The Black Angels know how to create catchy hooks with cool, dark undertones. The best example here is first single "Don't Play With Guns", that takes a rather superficial stab at the American gun culture and how easy people can go out of control, killing others. The foundation of the song is based on a dense, bass-heavy rhythm and an infectious vocal delivery courtesy of Alex Maas, who gives Indigo Meadow a whole new dimension with his playful, nasal voice.

Although not as dark and brooding as the rest, Indigo Meadow features a lot of memorable moments, fairly increasing its' replay value. Some of the best songs here are the country blues rocker "Love Me Forever", with a simple yet poignant chorus sung on a firm tone repeating "Love me forever/Love me or never" over a cool, sharp guitar riff. Also, at opposite ends are "Holland" and "You're Mine", the former being an eerie, mid-tempo Brian Jonestown Massacre reminiscing psychedelic tune. The hypnotic organ lead and reverbed guitar create a shady atmosphere, feeling like the soundtrack to a late night walk in the woods. "You're Mine", however, is one of Black Angels' sunniest and poppiest tunes ever recorded. The song finds a love-absorbed Alex Maas sharing his feelings towards his girl. There are traces of psychedelia present through the background synths and high pitched guitar solos towards the end, but again the flawless vocal delivery and groovy rhythm inevitably get stuck in the listener's head. Some fans might find it too positive in contrast with the band's usual stark output, yet within Indigo Meadow's context this unexpected garage pop rock track thingy really finds its' place. Other highlights include the marching, tremolo-laden "Broken Soldier" which echoes The Doors and the hectic, LSD-induced "I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)" will please the older fans.

In the end, Indigo Meadow is a really cool, fun record that only strengthens The Black Angels' position in their psychedelic rock pastiche niche. Some fans might be turned off by the pop leanings, but there's something for everyone here and the filler amount is kept to a minimum. Even so, like most of 60's pastiche, it feels familiar at times and doesn't cover much new ground. While other similar bands popped outside the bubble with various results, The Black Angels always stayed put and reworked the same ideas. Thankfully, the pop-tinged material found on Indigo Meadow offers diversity within their catalog, since they've been churning noisy, reverbed soaked trips for three albums now. Everyone should keep an eye on The Black Angels from now on, because they are slowly expanding and so far it sounds great.



Recent reviews by this author
Yawning Man Nomadic PursuitsSeven That Spells The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock: IO
Tim Bowness Abandoned Dancehall DreamsWo Fat The Conjuring
Kasabian 48:13Greenleaf Trails And Passes
user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream the record here - http://pitchfork.com/advance/55-indigo-meadow/

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



10258 Comments


didn't know this was coming out, nice

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



4383 Comments


Oh, man, I forgot about this album. Aside from a few selected songs, I've never been too big on this band though. I feel like they try too hard to recreate the mystical/desert feel of The Doors, but they do have some great tracks, especially in Passover- "Prodigal Sun" is one trippy jam.

Excellent review, Insomniac. Brilliant work.

ViperAces
April 2nd 2013



12377 Comments


artwork looks 60's hard

alachlahol
April 2nd 2013



7471 Comments


time to rock

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was never into them except for a few songs too, still this record is so cool. It's less repetitive and more pop, but yeah, sometimes they feel too heavily indebted in The Doors and other bands from that era. Maas, however, does an excellent job with the vocals. Also, thanks Paperback!

Wolfhorde
April 2nd 2013



12070 Comments


This band always seemed to exist solely for the purpose of chill summer eves to me.

alachlahol
April 2nd 2013



7471 Comments


sorry to break it to you insomniac but this is boring and crappy,, isnt all that surprising given the
last two releases

YankeeDudel
April 2nd 2013



9305 Comments


only heard Passover from these guys and i dug it. nothing original or anything just some good psyche.

Digging: Bedhead - WhatFunLifeWas

alachlahol
April 2nd 2013



7471 Comments


passover and directions are the best youll get from these psychedelic maniacs

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, this is a departure from their usual stuff, but I'm glad they're trying to move in a different direction. My issue with their previous albums is they were mostly the same thing.

CaptainDooRight
April 2nd 2013



28355 Comments


nice read, gonna have to check this out

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

halloway
April 2nd 2013



684 Comments


"nice read, gonna have to check this out"

QFT.

MeatSalad
April 3rd 2013



14195 Comments


sounds cool, think i'll check their older stuff though

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks.
Their older stuff is more visceral and hypnotic. Here the songs are poppier and less muddy.

13km
April 9th 2013



45 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This record is pretty good, but it takes a couple listens.
Lyrics sorta suck though..."That was when we were both people, doin' people things."

sinsexsodomy
April 10th 2013



198 Comments


seems like this band just wishes it was in the 60's imo....this group isn't anything special, Although the Bad Vibration's song is pretty cool

pillowhard
April 23rd 2013



23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great. Excellent blend of Psychedelic/Pop/Rock. Every song sounds unique.

alachlahol
April 24th 2013



7471 Comments


pillowhard wheres your goddamn taste,, listen to young men dead and youll never say crap like that again

pissbore
April 24th 2013



9935 Comments


4.5 superb
Underoath Define the Great Line



yeah don't go questioning anyone else's taste



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy