7/10 Mike Staff review, 01 May 2014
Here's the latest offering on Brian Jonestown honcho Anton Newcombe's A Records, the third album by The Blue Angel Lounge. They make a kind of darkly psychedelic pop music which is informed by new wave, post-punk and goth, often coming across like a cross between the aforementioned 'Massacre and Echo & The Bunnymen.
There's a bleak, kind of spacious feel to their psychedelia without ever straying too far from its rock roots, it drifts smokily around a bit like Lorelle Meets the Obsolete but with all the shoegazey walls of guitar replaced by a post-punk angularity a la early Cult of Youth. When they slow things down on tracks like 'Mutter' I think they're at their most effective, an opium dirge with woozily chiming Eastern riffs and subtle hand percussion and coldly delivered German vocals, although 'Woods (Sea of Trees)' which follows it heads into a questionable neofolk-influenced landscape of fingerpicked guitar and glacial spook-drones. Not too sure about this one.
In fact as I'm progressing through the album I'm finding it's not the slow songs I like best but the ones with the denser textures. When they strip it back to just his voice and a twinkly guitar and some subtle synth touches the cracks really start to show, but when there's tambourines and crunchy guitar chords rumbling away in the background it cushions the sound in a really pleasing way, although I feel like the vocals are often a bit high in the mix. A mixed bag but mostly decent.
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- A Sea Of Trees by Blue Angel Lounge
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