The Black Angels

Dylan was wrong; the times aren't changing, only repeating. Austin sextet the Black Angels descend from the thirteenth-floor elevators with an alarming "Call to Arms" that links the past to the present through an arsenal of neo-psychedelic sounds. The group's debut full-length, Passover, connects the current War on Terror to "The First Vietnamese War," both musically, with fuzzy, vintage guitar tones reminiscent of the Doors or Pink Floyd, and lyrically as front man Alex Maas wails, "60,000 men died why you all hid/You came into our home and you took our kid/And you ask for more now, for this new war/You ask for more now, Vietnam War." The call to action mounts during the nostalgic slow-burner "The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven" when the piercing cry, "Wake up," shatters the drugged-out, euphoric trance. The band, which takes its name from a Velvet Underground song, also carries on the tradition of the Butthole Surfers, incorporating found video footage and tripped-out lighting to enhance the atmosphere at their live performances. The time has come, as the band writes in their self-titled EP, to "turn on, tune in and drone out." Have mercy.


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