The Black Angels

Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon)

Texas Platters

The Black Angels

Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon)

On Indigo Meadow, terror finally hits home for the Black Angels. As if to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the locals' fourth LP and first since the departure of longtime guitarist Nate Ryan tackles the lasting toll of war – both foreign and domestic. "Broken Soldier" tells of a veteran "wounded in both legs" and struggling to regain intimacy. "I want to feel safe closing my eyes with you," intones frontman Alex Maas. He then lands a kill shot in the post-traumatic stress disorder of "Evil Things," which addresses a similar struggle to regain normalcy. "We're the same with bad intentions," he notes in a moment of sheer menace. The statement could just as easily summarize Indigo Meadow. Produced by John Congleton, the album bridges the quartet's trademark dark reverberations with the fun-house psych of 2010 breakthrough Phosphene Dream, only with more studio effects than all four sides of The Beatles (see "I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)") and an emphasis on the Doors' Soft Parade-era organ. "The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven," from 2006 debut Passover, gets a reboot in the charging "Don't Play With the Guns" starring Josephine, a femme fatale finding happiness in a warm revolver. Not every drone strike connects: "War on Holiday" and "Holland" both make for better music licensing than listening, suffering from dull lyricism, but that's countered by "Twisted Light," which inverts the 13th Floor Elevators' cosmic message. "Slip inside your helpless mind," instructs guitarist Christian Bland. For the Black Angels, there's no shelter from war games. (The Black Angels help headline the sixth annual Austin Psych Fest, April 26-28, Carson Creek Ranch.)

***

READ MORE
More Black Angels
The Black Angels Confront a Violent World
The Black Angels Confront a Violent World
New LP Death Song soundtracks a society on the brink

Alejandra Ramirez, April 28, 2017

The Black Angels Record Review
The Black Angels Record Review
Death Song (Partisan)

Tim Stegall, April 28, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers
Shanti's Shadow (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 26, 2017

Texas Platters
US Weekly
US Weekly (Record Review)

Libby Webster, May 26, 2017

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Black Angels

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)