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VISITING ACT ‌ Country Death Songs

The psych-rock of Austin's Black Angels will smother your soul

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Auustin, Texas sextet The Black Angels are fuzzy, but not in that cuddly way
  • Auustin, Texas sextet The Black Angels are fuzzy, but not in that cuddly way

There are places you expect to find fuzz: peaches, chins, the pockets of freshly-dried jeans. One spot where fuzz doesn't crop up so much is next to the word "rock," unless there's a pedal-happy bass player somewhere in the mix.

However, the six members of Austin, Texas-based band The Black Angels create what could be dubbed the fuzziest fucking rock in the country -- some may say the world -- on their debut LP, Passover, released in April of last year.

Drummer Stephanie Bailey's thundering bass drum, coupled with the onslaught of three fully-effected guitarists (Christian Bland, Kyle Hunt, and Nate Ryan -- who play other instruments, too) and Jennifer Raines manning the "drone machine/organ," provides a doomalicious backdrop as singer Alex Maas' Neil Young-meets-Jim Morrison vocals paint an appropriately macabre picture. If you could put Satan's molasses through an amplifier and spew them across a roomful of people, it would probably feel something like a Black Angels concert.

In a recent article in The Guardian, writer Laura Barton revealed that, fittingly, one of the band members was raised in a cult compound and one in a funeral home. The group first united in drone in May 2004, appropriating the name from one of their biggest (and most obvious) influences: The Velvet Underground's "Black Angel's Death Song." In the two years since, the band's gathered a fervent following in their hometown and abroad, popping up on psych-rock compilations and being hand-picked by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe as a "Song of the Week."

If you venture to the Village Tavern on Tuesday for the show (trust us, you should), perhaps a little pep talk with the inner organs is in order. They've rarely been shaken like they'll be when the sextet takes the stage, fires up all those amps, turns on the projector (yes, there's visuals, too!), and blows your brain out your ears. I anticipate Tuesday with great relish... --Sara Miller

The Black Angels share the stage with Vietnam and Dead Confederate on Tues. March 27 at the Village Tavern (1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., 884-6311). Doors are at 9 p.m. Cover is $10. See theblackangels.com and www.village-tavern.com for more.

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