The Black Angels album review: ‘Indigo Meadow’

Courtney Chavanell Photography - The band The Black Angels. L-R: Kyle Hunt, Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Alex Maas.

THE BLACK ANGELS

“Indigo Meadow”

Kindred spirits: Black Mountain,
Dead Meadow

Show: With Roky Erickson and the Hounds of Baskerville on Friday at the Black Cat.
Doors open at 9 p.m. 202-667-4490. www.blackcatdc.com. $25.

Some bands constantly move forward, chasing musical trends or detouring into bold new territory. The Black Angels are purposefully frozen in time.

On its fourth album, “Indigo Meadow,” the Austin band presents a pristine snapshot of ’70s psychedelia. If not for the slick production, you would think the album had been plucked from a used vinyl bin.

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The Black Angels are loyal to their genre. From the driving organ on “You’re Mine” and “I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)” to the reverb-drenched guitars throughout, the band clearly inhabits the time period that inspires them.

“Indigo Meadow” roars in with its stomping title track. Drummer Stephanie Bailey provides a muscular beat and ominous guitars set an intense tone. From there, it’s full steam ahead with guitars growling and howling and organs providing a surreal backdrop. The band detours slightly on tracks such as “The Day,” with its gentle, bopping rhythm and solid roots in classic rock.

The vocals of Alex Maas are the cornerstone of the band. Aside from the occasional wail, he plays it cool, chanting and sometimes sing-speaking the lyrics (“Evil Things”). He’s a mysteriously and drippingly hip frontman.

— Dan Miller

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