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Directions to See a Ghost

The Black Angels

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Album Review

Name yourselves after one of the Velvet Underground's most aggressively amelodic songs and package your second album in an op art burnt orange and chartreuse freakout and you'd better be able to deliver the psych-drone goods. What's most impressive about the Black Angels' Directions to See a Ghost is that not only does the Austin-based sextet deliver like few bands have been able to manage since Spacemen 3 split — see the dark, doomy "Science Killer" and the epic 16-minute closer "Snake in the Grass" for details — but the group also leavens its heaviness with a functioning knowledge of pop hooks and how to deploy them: as a result, songs like "You in Color" and "You on the Run" not only buzz and howl in a manner suitable for nodding along, they're also unexpectedly catchy in a style reminiscent of Love or the Doors. The sitar-laced two-chord stomp of "Never/Ever" sits comfortably alongside the post-punky desperation of "Doves," testament to the variety of sounds and moods the Black Angels squeeze out of their chosen idiom. This is the sort of psychedelia that space rockers and Nuggets, Rovi

Biography

Formed: May, 2004 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The sultry neo-psychedelic sound of the Black Angels came together in spring 2004. Hailing from Austin, TX, Stephanie Bailey (drums), Christian Bland (guitar), Alex Maas (vocals), Jennifer Raines (organ), and Nathan Ryan (bass) took their name from a Velvet Underground classic, "The Black Angel's Death Song." The band's self-titled debut EP was released in late 2005. After a string of North American dates in winter 2006, the Black Angels readied...
Full Bio

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