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

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily 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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest