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Broncho - "Class Historian"

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Admirals - Amidst the Blue

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Halo reach


The Black Angels spread their wings from Texas to embrace followers of yesteryear’s psychedelia.

Joshua Boydston May 18th, 2011

The Black Angels with Sleepy Sun
8 p.m. Friday ACM@UCO Performance Lab
323 E. Sheridan
acm-uco.com, 974-4700
$15 advance, $18 door

Not the Sunday kind of church, but crowds can expect to be baptized in thick waves of distorted guitar chords and hazy keyboard notes, while rejoicing in the ever-present spirit of Jim Morrison in the room. It’s an experience as powerful as any sermon.

“For us, we try to make it a spiritual experience for ourselves,” multi-instrumentalist Kyle Hunt said. “Every time we get out there, it’s this moving, spiritual thing ... like a psychedelic church other people can attend. We just try to move ourselves onstage, and sometimes that moves other people.”

The Austin, Texas-based Angels formed in 2004, but began to ignite the resurgence of 13th Floor Elevators-style psychedelic music in 2006, when they released their debut record, “Passover.” It came along the same time as fellow psych revivalists Black Mountain and The Brian Jonestown Massacre; a movement was formed.

“I think we helped make that push, but there are a lot of really good psychedelic bands,” Hunt said. “The whole thing was kind of happening already, but we might have been a bit of a spark.”

Since then, the five-piece has seen the genre expand even greater, and is doing its best to keep up.

“There’s the surf-psych sound, and the slower, minimalist stuff. Then cool, psych-garage sound and the really throbbing stuff ... so many different genres,” Hunt said. “Then there are those bands that try to encompass all those sounds. We try to pull from it all.”

The Black Angels saw this international resurgence demanding an event dedicated to it, and eventually decided it was up to them.

“No one else was doing it, so we stepped in and did it ourselves,” Hunt said.

The group held its first Austin Psych Fest in 2008, and recently held a fourth with acts like Crocodiles, Roky Erickson and Black Moth Super Rainbow. The band headlined the event in support of its latest effort, 2010’s “Phosphene Dream.”

“We were able to make the songs a little more dynamic. We spent more time really hashing through all the song ideas we had, trying to make the best ones we could,” Hunt said. “The other records were a little crude, written while we are out on the road and traveling. This was really the best we could have done.”

As proud as they are of the record, they struggle with the question of whether the music works better via album or a live setting. Playing Friday at ACM@ UCO Performance Lab, Oklahomans have a chance to decide for themselves.

“I don’t know that it works better either way. Sometimes it comes better live, experiencing those sounds ripping right into your face, or that crazy drumbeat going into your chest like a heartbeat. It feels great feeling that live,” Hunt said. “Then there are things you can do on record that you, or at least we, can’t always re-create live. There is something a little magic about seeing psychedelic bands live, though.”

 
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