Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Spin: The Black Angels @ Exit/In

Posted By on Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 12:01 PM

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While those three-day holiday weekends are a Godsend for almost any working stiff, they often blow their wad as early as Friday, leaving the rest of the weekend in a lull of recovery while many of us hardcore night-lifers are left feeling still unfulfilled. Fortunately, Exit/In had us covered last night and filled out the rest of the weekend rather well. We showed up around what we thought was rock o’clock, but what turned out was more like rock:15, as the smoke-covered stage was already glowing red and emanating echoes of squealing feedback and droning guitar effects. L.A.’s Warlocks had already taken the stage and were proceeding to pummel the ear drums and melt the faces off of what looked like a pretty packed room. Closer inspection, however, revealed that everyone was just standing really far apart and thus covering the space of the floor evenly, probably only filling about half the venue’s capacity. The band continued to hum, purr, and rumble through a few more mid tempo, heavily-distorted (that’s a good thing), hallucinogenic jams before hanging it up and exiting the stage to a mild roar of applause.
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Austin’s Black Angels followed, politely introducing themselves, then quickly launching into their own line of psychedelic retro-rock that dialed back the gain for a slightly cleaner sound than the band before them.
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Backed by a wall of eyeball-burning visuals, the Angels took the small head-shaking, body-swaying crowd on an old-fashioned journey to the center of the mind with repetitious, brooding, blues-based dirges, visceral, hypnotic drums and enough reverb to rival the Grand Canyon. While it’s a journey none of us haven’t taken before, it’s still almost always a nice place to visit.
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