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Artist Thu Jun 19 2008

The Black Angels Deliver Neo-Psychedelic Rock to the Masses

directions-big.jpg

I first learned the word chiaroscuro in a poem written by an architect. It has to do with a notable use of light and shadow, and I think it's a lovely way to describe the album built by Austin-born Black Angels, Directions to See a Ghost. Yes, they've got the guitar drone thing going on, but it's delivered in that appropriate ethereal way that comes along with the moniker of neo-psychedelic rock. Even their name, derived from the Velvet Underground's "The Black Angel's Death Song" is appropriate, given their dreamy, far-away lyrical delivery, and the way their songs conjure up of some Warhol Factory-esque room with too many pillows and not enough ashtrays.

The Black Angels psychedelic voice is stronger and more developed than their cousin — the indie shoe-gaze band. They've played Lollapalooza ('07) and SXSW ('08) to critical acclaim, and they're just perched (absolutely perched) on the verge of something big here. You're not likely to catch them on the radio, as most of their tracks span well over four minutes, but you get the feeling from the album that this band is just not all that into radio play. This is the album you're going to break out at 2am and groove to on your futon. It's the one you're going to play while you drift off to sleep (and likely have some pretty amazing dreams with this as your soundtrack). The album itself, plays like a oil wheel light show, infused with sitar ragas and some really interesting percussion work. The Black Angels are delivering psychedelic rock that not only honors its roots, but provides listeners with a cleaner, more delicious sugar cube.

[mp3]: The Black Angels – "Doves" (from Directions to See a Ghost)

[mp3]: The Black Angels – "The First Vietnamese War" (from Passover)

The Black Angels play Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Friday, June 20. The Warlocks open at 9pm. Tickets are $15.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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