Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Black Angels at the Troubadour

It is no secret that fuzz and reverb are two of my favorite musical effects. The pairing of Darker My Love and The Black Angels would be an aural onslaught of both effects as the Troubadour served as a perfect setting for a psychedelic set from both bands.

Darker My Love

Darker My Love have been on my radar dating back to 2006 when I saw them with Asobi Sesku at the Detroit Bar. I even caught them at the Orange County Museum of Art back in January 2007. Darker My Love is gearing up for the release of their 2nd album thoughtfully titled "2" on Dangerbird records. "Blue Day" is their fuzzy lead off single from the album and is punctuated with funky wah stabs and swirling vintage organ sounds. Rob Barbato (Bass/Vocals) had his trusty Gibson hollowbody bass booming as Jared Everett (Guitars) still had his Guild hollowbody screaming through his Z.Vex super duper. Their set included a good majority of tunes from the new album which had a lot more organ action from Will Canzoneri. The new songs were very distinct such as "Fresh Cream" in that the pace and moods varied greatly. I am looking forward to the new album release on August 5th. I would recommend you check out their show at the Echo on July 18th with the red hot Crystal Antlers.

The Black Angels

The methodical drumming of "Mission District" from their new album Directions To See A Ghost was expertly executed by Stephanie Bailey (Drums). Welcome to the hazy kaleidoscopic world of The Black Angels. The tambourine continues to make a sweeping comeback as Alex Maas (Vocals) shaked his way through "Deer-Ree-Shee". The guitar tones were divine as I spotted some key components to the Black Angels sound in the form of Electro Harmonix Memory Man and Holy Grail Reverb. I was also impressed by their selection of a Death By Audio Interstallar Overdriver. The characteristic drone of "Young Men Dead" elicited cheers from the crowd as the psychedelic visuals started to kick into high gear. A fuzz bomb went off as the huge bass line of "Science Killer" rumbled throughout the room. The Troubadour has a no smoking policy but I started to detect a few illicit substances wafting in the air. It also could have been the mind blowing combination of the music and visuals.

"Vikings" mellowed things a bit as I was amazed how well they recreated the haunting guitar textures of the song. Fuzz and reverb were interlocked in a massive battle of supremacy for a wall of sound version of "The Return". As I mentioned in the OC Weekly review, the appearance of an electric sitar automatically wins me over as it adds alien metallic textures to their songs. The projections throughout the night were a mix of old photos and various oils placed in water to amplify the intensity of the songs. I was glad I had a chance to see them the next night at the Ink-N-Iron festival with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The Black Angels are currently touring across the states with The Warlocks and I highly recommend you catch them live.

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