As soon as I heard Phosphene Dream, I knew The Black Angels had claimed the number one record. True, it was probably fated to be my favorite record of the year, given how much I adore The Black Angels. But not even I could have predicted just how much I would love Phosphene Dream. It is record number three for my favorite time-traveling lovers of all things psych and holy, and it might just be my favorite. Right away, the disarmingly delicious drone draws you in in the form of "Bad Vibrations." Shit starts to get crazy around three minutes and twenty seconds in, when Alex Maas yelps and the guitars explode into an assault of pure noisy ecstasy. On "Yellow Elevator #2" the band officially blew my mind, not only with the super sexy bassline but the breathtaking harmonizing and the daze tha ensues as the song reaches its ending. It's brilliant. And what follows this little piece of spiritual awareness? Only what could be called a pop song (well, as pop as The Black Angels are likely to get). "Sunday Afternoon" is fast and catchy and calls to mind images of go-go dancers in Nancy Sinatra-approved boots shaking and whirling in their mod minis. Title track "Phosphene Dream" will probably blow out your speakers if you listen to it loud enough, but with all that heavy, heavy soul going on, odds are you won't mind. The band pulls another pop song out of the hat in the undeniable "Telephone," with that great organ sound wrapped in that mess of delightful noise. Phosphene Dream says goodnight with the magnetic, masterful "The Sniper," all molasses-thick and impossible to ignore. Oh, but before it ends it gets faster. And harder to ignore. This is The Black Angels at their absolute finest. They prove once again that they will out-drone, out-loud, and out-psych anyone and everyone. End of story.
mp3: Bad Vibrations (The Black Angels from Phosphene Dream)