The Black Angels' music often sounds as if the world is coming to an end, which is just how singer Alex Maas likes it.
“I think the world is a very scary place,” Maas says by cellphone from the band’s latest tour stop in Washington, D.C. “It’s obviously a beautiful place, too. Maybe this is our outlet to emit this underlying warning about how things would be if everybody lost faith and hope.”
The Austin, Texas-bred band has been spreading its ominous, reverb-drenched drones for more than five years now, along the way converting a flock of passionate followers who likewise believe that 1966 was popular music’s creative apex.
Take album-opener “Bad Vibrations,” which kicks off with the band’s trademark death-march drums, echoing guitars and Maas’ deadpan, Grace Slick-informed croon before, three-fourths in, blowing things up with a schizoid segue in which the tempo is tripled and Maas yelps with impressive glee. The effect is both disorienting and deeply satisfying, transporting the listener to a completely different headspace within a matter of seconds.
The Black Angels perform Sunday at Southgate House with Suuns. Go here to read Jason Gargano's full interview.