The Daily Choice Headquarters have been a dark, doomy, gloomy place as of late. I’ve been dipping my head pretty frequently back in to the old Black Angels’ tank and consequentially my thirst for big, thudding psych-rock has been at an all time high. Martyr Privates, a Brisbane-based group of psych kids, fits the bill perfectly. Big, sludgy, repetition that just keeps coming at you like Tiger of Intensity, all bared teeth and cymbal crashes. At some point, the drudge of it all becomes almost soothing, a sonic backwash that just lets you lay your head down and drift off in to psychedelia.
I skipped the third Black Angels album. I’d been so in love with the apocalyptic psych of Passover and Directions To See A Ghost that when I started hearing rumors of a “pop” album by the Austin-based band I could only imagine terrible things. It’s been more than a year since Phosphene Dream bled in to the mainstream (the band’s first non-Light In The Attic release) and I just recently brought myself to listening to it and, well, I’ve been missing out. The third album doesn’t drag the band away from what they’re known for, not in anyway, instead it tightens it, stretches it, plays with the very concept of what they can do with the doom-and-gloom desert scree they’ve become known for. “Sunday Afternoon” is a perfect example of this, what on prior albums would’ve been a harshly melodic bit of sludge that dripped out of your speakers, this track is catchy, poppy almost, in a way that seems to alter the drug of choice of The Black Angels from high-powered psychedelics to wirey-eyed methamphetamines.
Understandably this album, Phosphene Dream, has been out for a while on Blue Horizon Records, I just couldn’t help writing something about it.
I posted a track from Gross Magic yesterday and in researching them I was lucky enough to stumble across the Tumblr page for the amazing UK record label The Sounds of Sweet Nothing and have been dumbfoundedly blinking my eyes over their suggested listens all morning. Take Hookworms, a little outfit from a place called Leeds, who manage to channel The Black Angels without submerging themselves in the murky emotional void psych-rocking individuals can so often find themselves mired. Instead “Teen Dreams” builds on angst-soaked vocals and an overflowing cloud of crescendoing rock and roll noise that funnels down in to a similar psych trough, but takes an entirely different path there.
Hookworms first cassette will be released on Sun Ark Records.