Thursday, May 8, 2014

Album Review: The Black Angels- Clear Lake Forest

The Black Angels
Clear Lake Forest
***and1/2 out of *****
Record Store Day has really become an event, allowing bands to experiment, while offering rabid fans new releases. The Austin based psych-rocking The Black Angels released a new EP just about a year after releasing their latest full length disk. These are billed as new songs but if they are outtakes from Indigo Meadow or not, the important things for fans (us included) is that we get to hear them (on some spiffy vinyl too).

Indigo Meadow started showing retro-pop tendencies Clear Lake Forest stays that course. Opener "Sunday Evening" contains tempo changes jangling instrumentation and up beat lyrics; the tune radiates some positive vibes even while lyrically questioning everything we know to be true. The disks highpoint comes next via a killer wah-wah and Pixie inspired noise-pop work of "Tired Eyes". This tune proves the band can write direct pop songs in their own tripped out style and be successful.

"The Flop" continues the upbeat freak-out with a surf rock inspired acid haze that could be a great sound track to a B-Movie from the 60's where cheesy monsters do the mashed potatoes on a beach with bikini babes. "The Occurrence At 4507 South Third" is the only track here that doesn't work with its annoyingly repetitive organ going nowhere but things improve on "Linda's Gone" which goes right to the heart of The Velvet Underground's sound, surprisingly it is the only track that stretches the bands sound out past 4 minutes.

"The Executioner" goes back to the albums opener, playing with tempo changes but instead of positive feelings things vibrate via evil thoughts. The band will always have a dark-side but opening things up to a retro shiny sound even a tiny bit makes their overall process even better. As is sung, "If it feels good/Do it again."    
We've always dug The Black Angels and are happy to hear this. Hope to catch them live again soon. 

Support the band here, peep some video below:


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