BY LAUREN ESPINA
As we pointed out in last week’s Coachella Focus featuring Pulp, Britpop is returning with a vengeance for this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. If the catchy hooks and anti-grunge sentiments of the 1990s music trend are too optimistic for you to handle, there are plenty of bands on the lineup to ease your wilder side. Neo-psychedelic garage rock band The Black Angels combines the murky reverberations of 1960s psychedelic music with the grime of garage rock but keeps an attractive indie rock sensibility, making it the quintessential example of the current vintage-contemporary style that rules today’s culture.
“Haunting at 1300 McKinley”
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:
A seasoned veteran in the underground music scene in Austin, The Black Angels has played an integral part in the garage and psychedelic rock world. Along with The Reverberation Appreciation Society, the band founded Austin Psych Fest, a festival commemorating Austin’s history as the birthplace of psychedelic music in 2008, offering a stage for the best up-and-coming, established and vintage psychedelic acts. The festival is also a platform for visual art and multi-media, giving audiences complete “mind-expanding” experiences.
Despite celebrating psychedelic rock and mastering the art of grainy garage rock, The Black Angels has managed to create its own distinctive, relevant sound. Listen to “Bad Vibrations” and take note: two-thirds through the song, the thick hypnotic haze created by mid-tempo drones gives way to up-beat piano and guitar riffs. The transition is neither forced nor unwelcome, and it demonstrates how The Black Angels is not one of those bands stuck in the past, but a band that makes its influences obvious while simultaneously using its creative energy to build something entirely new.
IF YOU CAN:
The Black Angels start a North American tour in Santa Barbara on April 12th, the night before Coachella Weekend 1. Before making its way to Los Angeles, Austin (as part of Austin Psych Fest) and Atlantic City (as part of Orion Music Fest), the band is making a stop in the Bay Area with The Horrors for two back-to-back shows at San Francisco‘s Bimbo’s 365 Club on the 16th and 17th of April. Tickets went on sale at the beginning of January and are still available. If you want to avoid the extra fees of shipping/handling/convenience, pick some up at the venue’s box office.