Vid O The Week: Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest

If you haven’t heard of The Black Angels, then you’re coming in at the right time. A band named for The Black Angel’s Death Song and undoubted bearers of the latest wave of droneadelica, these dudes have left their mark in the sounds of every band from Melbourne to Malacca who aspire to be on the next Bond soundtrack. In my humble opinion, last April’s Indigo Meadow was not only the best Black Angels release, but also one of the best of the entire year, so you can understand my excitement as I give their latest EP Clear Lake Forest a spin.

the black angels

The Black Angels have dropped a rad new live vid for their track The Flop, an experience as visually intense as their sound and as colourful as their recent noise-turned-garage direction.

Instantly, the record gives off a much more garage-pop vibe, taking influence more directly from the sounds of the 60’s than on their far noisier previous releases, yet this nod to pop doesn’t forgive us of any of their trademark intensity. An interesting wooziness in Diamond Eyes replaces the jagged swagger on stuff like Young Men Dead and swaying tempo and key changes give a much needed musicality to this Angels album. Certainly this album was meant to be listened to when out and about, rather than couchlocked in your friend’s parent’s basement.

But I digress. My excuse for writing about this Black Angels release is the fact that they dropped a pretty cool live video of the dudes performing The Flop, so I suppose we should have at least a brief chat about that.

But where does one start? I can describe all the little features of the video one at a time, the ghostly go-go dancers invading the foreground, the hypnotic spiraling patterns, the trip inducing strobe light, the sickening christmasy green and red colour combination, but I can’t find words to describe the experience as a whole.

Honestly though, I got more flashbacks to that 2009 Arctic Monkeys Web Transmission than I did to that time I dropped acid and watched The Man With The Golden Gun. I know it must hurt for such a cool band to be compared with an insipid pop band from the UK, but take a look for yourself and I’ve got a feeling that you’ll be seeing (and hearing) more than a few similarities.

So now I’m watching that Arctic Monkeys video so it’s probably time to wrap this whole Black Angels thing up. Clear Lake Forest is now available from iTunes or their own store and you can catch them live at Clearfork in Texas in August and at Reverence in Portugal.



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