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The Black Angels, Dead Meadow, Spindrift

The Black Angels, gods of Austin's psych-rock scene, spent three years living in a ghost-infested house on the weird city's east side. Untouched cymbals would rattle, things would go thump in the night, and, while living under that haunted roof, the band released its excellent Passover in 2006 and Directions to See a Ghost two years later. The band has since moved out, but the old house makes an appearance on last year's Phosphene Dream in the driving stunner "Haunting at 1300 McKinley."

In between recording and touring extensively, the band members started Austin Psych Fest, a glorious excuse to gather all their friends for a weekend of fuzz worship that's now in its fourth year. Phosphene Dream ushered in some changes for the band, though. The spook endures but takes a back seat to tight pop and borderline buoyant riffs. Thanks to Dave Sardy's production and maybe a little bit of the psychedelic drug DMT, this time there's sunshine busting through the sludge.

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