No frills psych rock
Jack Vincent
15:33 14th September 2022

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The Black Angels sound like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. It’s not hard to imagine ol' Hunter S. Thompson cruising through the Nevada Desert, munching on grapefruit, threatening Tobey Maguire with death while listening to any of Black Angels’ sun-scorched psychedelic rock anthems. 

That’s basically what you get with Wilderness Of Mirrors: no frills psych rock. Opener ‘Without A Trace’ sounds like Royal Blood in the middle of a nervous breakdown, while ‘El Jardin’ is straight The Doors with the fuzz turned to max. ‘La Pared (Govt. Wall Blues)’ boasts an explosive, repetitive stoner riff which is guaranteed to make any Wooden Shjips fan blush and ‘The River’ reminds me of that scene in The Mighty Boosh where they’re travelling in the desert, all Arabian nights riffs and ‘60s acid trip stomp, coming across like a less absurd King Gizzard at points. 

You may have noticed how all these songs have clear reference points. The Black Angels don’t really reinvent the wheel with any of this music, but honestly, they don’t have to. The more political and socially conscious lyrical content do give these songs an extra heft, but if you’ve heard a Black Angels album before you’ve heard this one. Reinventing the wheel has never really been Black Angels’ jam but I’ll take consistent songwriting and dope riffs over some boring experimental shit any day. When the title track’s cool-as-ice riff starts, for instance, you won’t care either. At fifteen tracks, Wilderness Of Mirrors is overly long — but this isn’t a Migos album and nothing here can be construed as filler. As I said before, Wilderness Of Mirrors is balls-to-the-wall psych rock, guaranteed to give all the Flares a good time.

Wilderness of Mirrors arrives 16 September via Partisan. 

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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