Rescheduled from January 2022

The Black Angels

Wednesday, October 19
Doors: 8pm : Show: 9pm
$23 / Day Of : $26

The best music reflects a widescreen view of the world back at us, helping distill the universal into something far more personal. Since forming in Austin in 2004, The Black Angels have become standard bearers for modern psych-rock that does exactly that, which is one of many reasons why the group’s new album, Wilderness of Mirrors, feels so aptly named.

Says vocalist/bassist Alex Maas, “a big focal point of this record is just the overall insanity that’s happening. What’s true? What’s not?” Adds guitarist Christian Bland, “We leave our music open to interpretation, but our topics are always universal themes—problems mankind has had since the beginning of time. You can relate them to any period.”

Indeed, in the five years since the release of the band’s prior album, Death Song, and the two-plus years spent working on Wilderness of Mirrors, pandemics, political tumult and the ongoing devastation of the environment have provided ample fodder for the Black Angels’ signature sonic approach. If the group’s members were terrified as they honed new music heading into an election year, they realized they didn’t even know how scary things could still get. So, they looked inward, focusing on both their ongoing creative and musical development as well as their own struggles amid the external chaos.

Wilderness of Mirrors (to be released 9/16/22) hits even closer to home, as the group recorded solely in the friendly confines of Austin for the first time in more than a decade and entrusted co-production duties to its longtime front-of-house engineer, Brett Orrison. “It was a really great experience, because Brett understands us a lot on a musical level. We’ve grown together,” Maas says. “We worked on this record for over a year in the studio in Austin. I don’t know any other situation where we’d have been able to do that in a 9-to-5 way.” Adds Bland, “Doing it in Austin allowed for open creativity and took away the stress of rushing to get something done. We used our time wisely.” That methodical modus operandi can be heard throughout Wilderness of Mirrors, which expertly refines the Black Angels’ psychedelic rock attack alongside a host of intriguing sounds and textures. “History of the Future” and opener “Without a Trace” are classic blasts of fuzzed-out guitars that simultaneously perk up the ears and jumpstart the mind (“Is it still possible to be invincible when everyone else is expendable?” Maas wonders aloud on the latter), while a fast, thumping bass line and an allusion to a world leader hiding in his bunker propel “Empires Falling” into an ominous decree: “Every time you
wake, I want to end you.”

“I came in with a riff that was kind of slow and mid-tempo-y,” Bland says of the song. “When I showed it to the band, [drummer] Stephanie [Bailey] started playing a quicker beat over it, [guitarist] Jake [Garcia] added this cool mercurial lead guitar line, and [multi-instrumentalist] Ramiro [Verdooren] laid down a heavy driving bass, and all the sudden it had some rock’n’roll gasoline behind it. That’s the beauty of being with these folks. Everybody brings their creativity to the table and a song could become something you never had envisioned before.”

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