KEXP at SXSW, Day 2: The Black Angels

photos by Jim Bennett

The Black Angels are sonically as dark as their name implies, fusing psychedelic rock with with elements of the blues and garage punk. They’ve toured with everyone from The Black Keys and Roky Erickson to Queens of the Stone Age and Wolfmother, but rather than being overshadowed by their peers, the group’s soldiered on to forge a unique sound. Influenced heavily by The Velvet Underground and Spaceman 3, the deep bass drones and sunburned distortion of their debut Passover drew critical acclaim and a respectable following. Their latest, Phosphene Dream, showcased a sonic depth as-yet unexplored by the group, peeling back the layers of guitar sludge and murk to reveal hints of 60′s psychedelia, whether it’s Jefferson Airplane‘s signature vocals or Pink Floyd‘s classic stuttering organ hooks. But for those less keen on their genre-hopping experiments, there’s no cause to worry: the Angels still work best with their coma-inducing reverb and heavy, growling guitars.

Check out photos from their live set at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop during our broadcast from SXSW:

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