Megan's Top 18 of 2008 - #1a - The Black Angels

I'm notoriously fickle, as regards just about anything and everything, but especially when it comes to music. So to have captured my attention for nearly half a year, an album has to be pretty fucking spectacular.

And friends, that's exactly how I would describe the second LP by Austin's Black Angels.
Directions to See a Ghost is fucking spectacular.

I was recently discussing the weighty merits of the two Black Angels albums with my friend Laura, another ardent Black Angels fan. She prefers debut
Passover to Directions to See a Ghost, arguing that the songs are stronger and more inventive. While I certainly love Passover furiously, I give the nod to Directions as my favorite of the two.

I think Laura's right, the songs on
Passover are just a touch better, but the ideas begun on that mighty fine debut are expanded here, given new depth and breadth and much closer examination. It's psychedelia under a microscope, if you will. It's not just about the simple art of recording killer track after killer track, it's the pieces of the song and how they work together and how they can be fleshed out until they have a life of their own. I also feel like the album has a better flow, the songs merge into one another in a haze of sonic fuzz and pulsating drums. It's pretty dang seamless.

Directions to See a Ghost is a great big bastard of glorious mindfuckery, a heady concoction of sheer noise that by no coincidence is as beautiful as it is loud. It's sexy rock'n'roll that owes much to the vibrant days of years gone by, but just might end up being revered in its own right in years to come.


  1. So, between Megan and Chris, LesEnfantsTerribles is claiming 3 #1s for 2008? ...oh, the controversy! I think that just shows that it was a really good year for good music after a few not-so-good ones.

    I must also say that after reading so many year-end lists in the Philly-based blogs all week, it was a relief not to see Dr.Dog for once.

    Thanks to both of you for your hard work in putting the list together, and for adding commentary to make it more than just a list. Happy New Year!


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