The Black Angels third album, and first release on Blue Horizon, is the highly anticipated Phosphene Dream, which is set to come out on September 14th. Phosphene Dream marks a giant leap forward for the band. Produced and mixed by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother, Band of Horses, Black Mountain) over a period of six months in Los Angeles, the album shows off a bold new direction for The Black Angels both sonically and musically, a fresh take on the neo-Psychedelic movement they've been at the forefront of for years.
The Black Angels recently received their highest profile look when they were featured on the UNKLE song With You In My Head, which is played during the most pivotal scene in the
hugely popular film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The song is also featured on the film's recently
While past albums Passover and Directions to See a Ghost were recorded in the band's hometown of Austin, Texas, the process by which Phosphene Dream was created pulled the band out of their comfort zone and forced them to look at songwriting and recording in a way they never had before. Years of non-stop worldwide touring have turned The Black Angels into a tightly wound unit, and those years of work are all on showcase here. The band plans to celebrate the release with more years of touring, starting at the end of August where they will be playing the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK, Rock en Seine in Paris, and the highly coveted Jim Jarmusch curated stage at All Tomorrow's Parties in NYC.
Seymour Stein, music business legend and founder of Sire Records commented, Great musicianship and performers, mesmerizing vocals, and songs that penetrate the subconscious.
That's the best way to describe Black Angels, our first signing to Blue Horizon records. In every way the band is perfect choice to re-launch to this iconic label.
His partner, the legendary producer/songwriter Richard Gottehrer (Go Gos, Blondie, Marhsall Crenshaw, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, etc.) added, Everyone was so receptive when we announced we were bringing
Blue Horizon back. We hope they share in our excitement for the great things we have in store in modernizing this label to serve as a source of music from emerging artists across genres.
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Their most varied, 60s-inspired, record yet
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 09/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Compared to "Directions to See a Ghost," which for me fulfilled the promise of "Passover," this third album's less consistent and more eclectic. I understand why. The band risked getting trapped in their overwhelming, percussive, intense drones. I loved these (see my reviews of both CDs), but I admit if they had produced another record full of the same darkness, without room for light, it might have been nearing a dead-end however polished and raw both.
So, with no idea what to expect, hearing these ten tracks shows the band recognizes what had to be done. I will briefly comment on each song to give you an idea of the range. "Bad Vibrations," a would-be slogan for the band's earlier work, starts with their familiar distorted guitar on top of a heavy beat, but it races towards a livelier end than usual. "Haunting at 1300 McKinley" continues this approach, but "Yellow Elevator #2" mixes a Clinic-like vocal processing with stacked and interwoven voices to add layers to what in the past has been the same intonations from a single throat. It works well to vary this style, which as the song goes on reminds me of very early Pink Floyd blended into "Dark Side of the Moon"'s title track: the song definitely evokes this period.
"Sunday Afternoon" opens with perhaps an electric jug like their Austin, Texas, predecessors 13th Floor Elevators used; this tune also recalls "Nuggets"-era garage rock. "River of Blood" returns to their signature sound with a war theme but it hurries up the pace also as it progresses. "Entrance Song" continues a tribal beat.
"Phosphene Dream" as the title track alters the tone and moves to a thicker, clotted production that recalls Echo and the Bunnymen with its chiming keyboards. "True Believers" adds a folksy, artsy twist that hints of Clinic and Elf Power in an experimental take on indie ambitions that filter older melodies into lo-fi studio atmospheres.
"Telephone" dramatically departs for a peppy song that could be the Beatles circa 1964. "The Sniper" ends it all with a guitar rock-based song that's rather straightforward by the band's standards, and somehow the guitar riff and delivery suggests an epic passage of the first or second Led Zeppelin albums. So, you can hear how varied this record is, as it draws upon a lot of 60s' inspired psychedelic influences. Like the best interpreters today, rather than imitate this creative period, The Black Angels filter and play and alter it into their own reality."
Turn out, tune on, drop in
Longly | an uncertain future | 09/24/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"reverb. erations. guidance in avoidance. baby. oh roky. oh baby. an uncomprehensible occurence. oh, lord. mankind's rebirth. falling backward into the sunset dream. an invitation to pure sanity. summer '67. transfusion confusion. highway death rattle hum. reveals a new perspective. sweetly sweeping blades of a languid fan. describes keleidoscopic visions. austin. explains the new direction. melting shadows just this side of blind. deals with numbers. each grain of dust a mote in dog's eye. a warning to prepare pt. 2. good. bye."