Home > Album Reviews, In the Spotlight, Tales of the Weird > In the Spotlight: The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest

In the Spotlight: The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest

10JKT [Converted]

by Mat Weir

Goddamn, it’s been a busy year for The Black Angels. Last year they released their fourth full-length, departed on two (or was it three?) tours, made their usual appearance at the Austin Psyche Fest & South by Southwest. If they didn’t have enough to deal with, this last Saturday they opened their own record store in Austin AND released their fourth EP, Clear Lake Forest.

Whenever the Angels release something on Record Store Day, I always buy it just on principle. But I have to admit, I wasn’t too excited for this year’s release. In my review of Indigo Meadow, I explained that even though I enjoyed the album, it wasn’t my favorite as it seemingly abandoned their fuzzier, psych roots for a more poppy, psych-lite sound. Even after seeing the Forest cover–which sees a return to the pattern designs that grace all their albums but Meadow-—I was skeptical. Oh woe is me of little faith.

It’s only been two days, but I’ve already spun this EP over a dozen times. Dare I say, it might be my favorite release by them so far. This is the album I wanted Indigo Meadow to be. I’m not sure if the songs were written previously or are new, but Forest is a blend of the Angels’ early, fuzzed-out tone with catchy melodies instead of keeping with metal-like drone.

Even on their more Zombie/Yardbird-esque songs like “Sunday Evening” or “An Occurance at 4507 South Third Street,” the Black Angels manage to twist the songs with time changes and dropping heavier chords sporadically in the same playfulness of their earlier albums. Forest ends with “Linda’s Gone,” a melodramatic, spacey number that toys with Velvet Underground/Lou Reed-like guitar riffs, building to a crescendo that tries escaping from the song, but never can quite break free. Heavily hallucinogenic and touchingly soft when it needs to be, I hope Clear Lake Forest is a sign of things to come from the Angels. It’s so good, I’m going to go listen to it just one more time. . . or three.


  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: