The warning outside the doors of Brooklyn’s hot new music venue, Brooklyn Steel, read: “Warning: Strobe lights in use tonight.” What it really should’ve said was “Warning: IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL LOUD IN HERE! And then, pretty trippy.” That’s what you get when you the mix amp busting sounds of opening act A Place to Bury Strangers (APTBS) with the psychedelic vibes and lights of the main act, The Black Angels.
APTBS announced their presence with a furious mix of post-rock and shoegaze, each track seemingly louder than the previous. You know the kind of loud that leaves you looking for reinforced ear plugs for the next time their sonic wave tears through you.
APTBS is dark and heavy, evoking the soundtrack to some psycho-sexual 1980s thriller, preferably one directed by Michael Mann. Oliver Ackerman infused each track with his shadowy vocals, paired with his driving “let’s turn up the fuzz guitar licks” while bassist Dion Lunadon thumps and thumps away on the bass. And the not so hidden gem in the band is drummer Lia Simone Braswell, who isn’t just keeping a beat but blasting some kind of sonic boom each time she makes contacts with her kit. And since destroying the crowd’s ear drums, in the best possible way mind you, wasn’t enough for APTBS, they finished off their set in the middle of the crowd as furious and righteous as they began the night.
And then the spiritual madness began as Austin’s neo-psychedelic The Black Angels took the stage. This is a band that comes at you full of reverb and layered mind-twisting sounds. I like to think that before they light up the stage with their extra dimensional light show, that the band is the back invoking a long gone musical god that enters the venue when they tear open a wormhole thanks to their sonic incantations on stage.
You can close your eyes and just hear the colors and voodoo emanating from Alex Maas’ voice as then band played from their new album “Death Song.” This is the music of the 60’s psychedelia pushed forth into a new age. It doesn’t look back but learns from the temple of Morrison and company. Each song worming’s it way into the heart – blasting the audience members and infecting each of them with synethseisa as sounds become colors and then you open your eyes and see the negative burns on screen as the floor opens up under your feet and all that’s left there is time and space unraveling. For one night you’ve left your earthly shackles and are part of a larger universe – one full of fear, violence, and ultimately love.
Article: Omar Kasrawi