By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night Amsterdam
Review: The Black Angels’ album Wilderness of Mirrors-Release date Sept 16, 2022 via Partisan Records
The term psychedelic rock can mean many things to as many music listeners, but for quite a number of them it is the dominating guitar sound, ‘deviated’ by various pedals and add-ons, with fuzz topping the list.
Anything wrong with that? Absolutely not, particularly if it is any good, and Austin Texas guys The Black Angels definitely hold to those maxims on their latest album ‘Wilderness of Mirrors.’
If the legendary Texas psych rockers 13th Floor Elevators and that band’s leader Roky Ericson come to mind first here, don’t see/hear it as an accident.
Vocalist/bassist Alex Maas, guitarist Christian Bland and the rest of the band, intentionally or unintentionally have picked up the spirit of the Texas psychedelic legends and have come up with an album that at the same time continues the psych tradition and brings it up to modern times as if there is no fifty years or so gap between the two.
Part of the ease of bridging the gap may lie in the fact that The Black Angels cover all the current themes and problems in their lyrics – from, pandemics, to political tumult and the ongoing devastation of the environment.
As Christian Bland notes, “We leave our music open to interpretation, but our topics are always universal themes – problems mankind has had since the beginning of time. You can relate them to any period.”
By taking such an approach The Black Angels have actually come up with a psych rock album that is at the same time both traditional and modern at the same time.
The Band: CHRISTIAN BLAND – guitar, drone machine/organ
ALEX MAAS – vocals, bass, organ/drone machine
STEPHANIE BAILEY – drums, percussion
RAMIRO VERDOOREN – keyboards, percussion, bass, guitar
JAKE GARCIA – guitar