12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Texas’ Black Angels make wonderfully dark, mesmerizing psychedelic music, and one of their secret weapons is vocalist Alex Maas, who sounds a bit like the devil trying to be coy. His pinched whine is — delightfully -— both winsome and sinister, and Phosphene Dream burrows deep into the murk and morass of psych-rock weighted with paranoia and unease. The Velvet Underground may be the group’s patron saint, but they have a clear fondness for other dark horses of the genre, namely the Doors and 13th Floor Elevators. (iTunes bonus track “Ronettes” is a stroke of genius: VU produced by Phil Spector, with Ray Manzarek on keys.) Tracks like “Sunday Afternoon” (in which the band gives a nod to the Elevators’ electric jug sound) and “Telephone” are real surprises, accented with flavors of both Madchester and ‘60s Brit-pop, and killer opening track “Bad Vibrations” shifts suddenly from a sinuous, pinwheeling parade of effects-drenched guitar and reverb haze to a revved-up, violent end. Phosphene Dream is full of surprises, and holds its charm for many listenings.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Texas’ Black Angels make wonderfully dark, mesmerizing psychedelic music, and one of their secret weapons is vocalist Alex Maas, who sounds a bit like the devil trying to be coy. His pinched whine is — delightfully -— both winsome and sinister, and Phosphene Dream burrows deep into the murk and morass of psych-rock weighted with paranoia and unease. The Velvet Underground may be the group’s patron saint, but they have a clear fondness for other dark horses of the genre, namely the Doors and 13th Floor Elevators. (iTunes bonus track “Ronettes” is a stroke of genius: VU produced by Phil Spector, with Ray Manzarek on keys.) Tracks like “Sunday Afternoon” (in which the band gives a nod to the Elevators’ electric jug sound) and “Telephone” are real surprises, accented with flavors of both Madchester and ‘60s Brit-pop, and killer opening track “Bad Vibrations” shifts suddenly from a sinuous, pinwheeling parade of effects-drenched guitar and reverb haze to a revved-up, violent end. Phosphene Dream is full of surprises, and holds its charm for many listenings.

TITLE TIME
12

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