The Black Angels
No mysteries here: The grand teleportation back to the paisley (or is it Velvet?) underground continues. Boiling in a stew of psych and noir lyricism, Phosphene Dream is an evil cathedral built on the smoke leftover from Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Ideal nighttime listening. This time, the five Austinites briefly break out the soul on “Yellow Elevator #2” and “Telephone,” but you can mostly expect bong-laden festivities, replete with tribal drums, mid-register chanting, dark matters of discussion coming through each track, or a repetitive conglomeration of all four. The title track builds around a strobe of guitar fuzz and Alex Maas’ doomsday refrains. Middle Eastern drone holds up “True Believers,” as Maas flat-out channels Grace Slick. The Black Angels are vibe addicts, rarely given to mood swings lest it render their world unstable. Ambience is what carries them through. But what if it didn’t?