Exposé Online banner

The Black Angels — Directions to See a Ghost
(Light in the Attic LITA 033, 2008, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2010-07-01

Directions to See a Ghost Cover artIt is always exciting to discover new bands that take interesting elements from the past, combine them with fresh new ideas, and create something entirely new. Cases in point are the neo-psych bands like Wooden Shjips, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, and The Black Angels. The Black Angels hail from Austin, TX and are Stephanie Bailey (drums, percussion), Christian Bland (guitar, drone machine/organ), Kyle Hunt (keyboards, percussion, bass, guitar), Alex Maas (vocals), and Nate Ryan (bass, guitar). Directions to See a Ghost is their second full-length release and it is jam packed with droning, trippy, psychedelic music combining mid-60s Velvet Underground influences (Alex’s vocals bear a striking resemblance to Lou Reed), raga-rock including sitar drones, nods to Austin’s 13th Floor Elevators, and contemporary alternative bands. There are many standout moments on this disc. I especially like "Deer-Ree-Shee." There is some very powerful music here, Maas' recitations instead of really singing are somewhat difficult to decipher, but the band has a definite anti-war message. Alex sings on "Never/Ever": "You say the Beatles stopped the war/They might've helped to find a cure/But it's still not over." And closing out the disc is their sixteen minute opus "Snake in the Grass" with reversed loops mixed in with guitars, drums, and drones. The origin of their album title Directions to See a Ghost is lost on me, none of the songs appear to relate, that really doesn't matter. If this review intrigues you, then by means seek this band out.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): The Black Angels

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Akai Ikuo - Language without Words – This short album (in the neighborhood of 30 minutes even including the two unlisted tracks) is the first US release but Japanese experimental multi-instrumentalist Akai Ikuo. It’s a combination...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues