Words and Images by: Jake Krolick
The Black Angels and Allah-Las :: 04.07.13 :: Union Transfer :: Philadelphia, PA
Full review below photo gallery!
California’s Allah-Las and The Black Angels from Texas couldn’t be
complimentary bands. Their music melded together in a psychedelic ballet of old sounds transformed
to new music at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer last week. The four piece Allah-Las mix of 60’s surf
rock sifted through the sounds of the past and created something refreshingly current. Even though
their debut LP was released just last year, the Allah-Las have been playing together since 2008. On
stage they exuded cool and their interaction and precision showed it.
All four members could easily
have sung lead vocals at any time. Lead singer and guitarist Miles Michaud even swapped places with
drummer Matthew Correia for their final song where wind-blown rhythms led perfectly into the heavier
psychedelic growl of the Black Angels.
To the crowd’s chagrin, the Black Angels maintained their let-it-all-hang-out live show and gave an
impeccable performance. This tour stop landed on the heels of the release of their new studio album,
Indigo Meadow. The new album and show featured much more bass and organ work with a tad less
guitar. This meant the nine minute freak-outs changed to much tighter more orchestrated four to six
minute tales of morality like "Don't Play with Guns" and an edgy Jefferson Airplane-like version of "Evil
Things." Lead singer Alex Maas could be found holding down bass duties most of the evening while
linking up with their extra heavy hitting drummer Stephanie Bailey. The two kept everything moving
with a tenacious boom and whack of bass and drums while Christian Bland explored some interesting
spaces on the guitar.
Both bands seem to currently be in exciting spaces with the Allah-Las starting to cultivate a larger
sound and a stage presence. The Black Angels are still rocking out plenty of enthralling, fuzzy jams.
Some of their songs may be shorter, but they still dive deep into the darker fringes of psychedelic music.
[Published on: 4/17/13]