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Monday, February 23, 2009

Album Of The Week-The Black Angels-"Directions To See A Ghost" (2008)

The Album Of The Week is "Directions To See A Ghost" by The Black Angels.


Name yourselves after one of the Velvet Underground's most aggressively amelodic songs and package your second album in an op art burnt orange and chartreuse freakout and you'd better be able to deliver the psych-drone goods. What's most impressive about the Black Angels' Directions to See a Ghost is that not only does the Austin-based sextet deliver like few bands have been able to manage since Spacemen 3 split — see the dark, doomy "Science Killer" and the epic 16-minute closer "Snake in the Grass" for details — but the group also leavens its heaviness with a functioning knowledge of pop hooks and how to deploy them: as a result, songs like "You in Color" and "You on the Run" not only buzz and howl in a manner suitable for nodding along, they're also unexpectedly catchy in a style reminiscent of Love or the Doors. The sitar-laced two-chord stomp of "Never/Ever" sits comfortably alongside the post-punky desperation of "Doves," testament to the variety of sounds and moods the Black Angels squeeze out of their chosen idiom. This is the sort of psychedelia that space rockers and Nuggets fans alike can come together over. (Stewart Mason, All Music Guide)

"There was this guy I knew that described The Black Angels as a band that makes “music to have great sex at a funeral by.” As long as I weren’t the deceased, it might be a funeral I’d want to be a part of—I like to keep my options open. Besides, I remember reading somewhere that Walt Whitman wanted his funereal to be nothing short of a wild celebration of not just his life, but life in the truest sense of the word, full of song and unbridled orgiastic expression dancing confidently alongside death. The Black Angels evoke this same kind of haunting gala with relentlessly pounding drum and bass rhythms, fuzzed-out guitar droning and heavily echoed vocals that are vaguely discernable above the controlled chaos of their creations. Theirs is a music that is alluring, meditative, multi-layered, unquestionably dark and surprisingly redemptive." (Sean Lambert)

Track Listing:

01. You on the Run
02. Doves
03. Science Killer
04. Mission District
05. 18 Years
06. Deer-Ree-Shee
07. Never/Ever
08. Vikings
09. You in Color
10. The Return
11. Snake in the Grass

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