Where do you even start with a band like The Black Angels?

I caught their show in October, 2010 when they opened for Black Mountain and the whole thing simply melted my face. Why? And how will you know when your face is melted?

Well, let’s see here…

Take a song like Bad Vibrations, the first song off their newest album Phosphene Dream. Close your eyes. Turn it up. Loud. The wailing guitar, those vocals from Alex Maas, timeless, insistent and trembling, steeped in a far off echo, the hectic tempo change at the end…It’s total unmodern madness.

The Black Angels’ music could be a real 60’s flashback; luckily it’s not and that means there’s hope for the joke that has become the crumbling “popular” music industry. The Black Angels are instead, a mix of revival and experimentation. And you’ll get to see them live this Tuesday at Sala Rossa.

Listening to a catchy number like Telephone from their new album proves to be a thrashing thrill. It starts off crackling and distantly quiet, before breaking into frantic organ and retro melodies, and all you can picture is kids in purple and gold polyester trying to do the twist on acid or something.

The track calls to mind the boppy offerings from the British Invasion, even though the band is actually from Texas. Go figure. They prove that time and place are irrelevant when measured in the context of truly mind-rearranging jams.

Going back a bit further in their discography, their singles and EP’s match up to a solid style that didn’t necessarily improve over time, however, The Black Angels have always had the talent to create thought- provoking, trippy and total blast-to-the-brain kind of music.

Taking their name from a Velvet Underground song, the five piece band was formed in 2004. The band is associated with six different side projects, releasing three albums, Phosphene Dream being their third that dropped in September of 2010.

Touring with bands like the Black Keys, Wolfmother, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and The Ravonettes, and being described by Passover as “Walking in the shadows cast by Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce,” hasn’t hurt the growth of fascinated fans, either.

With Suuns opening, The Black Angels will be creating another wild experience tomorrow night, April 12th at La Sala Rossa. Tickets are 17$ in advance or twenty bucks at the door, and worth every dirty cent.

Maybe the eloquently-worded bio on the Balconies myspace page does them justice. Apparently we can look forward to “…Jacquie, with her batting eyelashes and wide eyes smirking and Jaeger soaked in his own sweat from playing so hard, and brother Stephen unassumingly spewing out tales of messy late nights and relationship faux-pas.”

Having just played a show at the Phoenix in Toronto, the Balconies are rolling into town to open for Cold War Kids here in Montreal. From Ottawa, Jacquie Neville, her brother Stephen Neville and non-sibling Liam Jaeger formed in university. Instead of studying music, they made their own music, resulting in the structured blocks of pop dance sound, the Balconies.

According to the same amazingly written myspace bio, Stephen Neville’s vocals have gotten compared to epileptic musical mess-genius, Ian Curtis. The vocals are actually nothing like Ian Curtis; they sound more like Adam Greene from the Moldy Peaches, flat and soft and mixed up with a less computerized version of Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie.

The vocals that are really impressive are those of Jacquie, as she hits these orchestral Joni notes on tracks like, 300 pages. Backing vocals and crashing cymbals, refreshing tempo changes and mournful guitar breakdowns stimulate any chance of boredom into mild obscurity.

The Slo vocally calls up dusty desert wailing and wistfulness while tracks like Serious Bedtime show off the band’s ability to throw around some pretty harmonies.

All in all, it might be one of the opening bands to actually show up for.

And then it’s going to be Cold War Kids; the actual kids are Matt Aveiro, Matt Maust, Jonnie Bo Russell and Nathan Willett from Long Beach, California. Formed in 2004, they all met at a Christian university; this brought some mouthiness from music blog, Pitchfork, but hey, it’s all publicity and with twenty upcoming shows as far flung as France, Spain and Chile, their personal religious choices don’t seem to be getting in the way of what they want to do, which seems to be music, and not preaching.

Energetic songs with strong vocal lines, foundations of rambunctious if not formulaic guitar…It’s nothing so far out in left field that you’ll get your face melted or anything, but everyone going probably knows what they’re in for, and those who are there will most likely find themselves jumping around and being caught up in the Cold War Kids’ brand of musical madness.

Cold War Kids and the Balconies
March 19 @ Corona Theatre
$20 adv. and $22 @ door

Photo wolvesamongthesheep.wordpress.com