Andrew Duncan, The Black Angels-Passover review

Psychedelic Rock, feeling of the sixties, released in 2006.

The Black Angels – Passover
While looking through YouTube videos/songs by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, a psychedelic/indie rock band from the nineties and one which was associated with the much more popular band The Dandy Warhols, I noticed a recommended video for a song by a band calling themselves The Black Angels. Their Debut album, which was released in 2006, received positive reviews from the few critics and websites that would analyse their album: Passover. Their sound is what is known “psychedelic rock” and they have often been compared to one of the great sixties bands, The Velvet Underground, a band which The Black Angels themselves name as one of their influences. Another obvious reminder of their sixties influence comes in the second song in the album: The First Vietnam War. On the fourth song of the album, The Prodigal Sun, their status as a psychedelic band becomes clear with lyrics like “You Scare Us yeah”…”You know our thoughts, You put them there”. To add to the psychedelic feeling that the lyrics give the song is the fact that they are sung in vocalist Alex Maas’s unique style. A simple and yet powerful rhythm is provided by drummer Stephanie Bailey who manages to take the tempo of many of The Black Angels songs to frantic levels where he manages to maintain the rhythm before bringing it back down again. In The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven you can hear Bailey’s manic and yet constant pace of rhythm on the drums. As the song progresses you can hear a heavy rock rift being played on guitar and bass to Maas’s wailing drones and shouts with Bailey crashing his cymbals during interludes between Maas actually singing words and Maas just shouting incoherently. Empire is probably the albums best song and it really displays the bands talent, especially Maas’s, as a vocalist for a psychedelic rock band. The band, in its entirety, consists of five members, those being: Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Kyle Hunt, Alex Maas and Nate Ryan.

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