Phosphene Dream - The Black Angels
Phosphene Dream Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Band members: Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Alex Maas, Kyle Hunt
  • Summary: The Austin rock band that gained mainstream exposure on the UNKLE song With You in My Head featured in the film "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," releases its third album on new label Blue Horizon.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Rock album of the year, if anyone's counting.
  2. A recent appearance on Late Show with David Letterman saw the band add an extra minute of soaring harmonies, leading to a satisfying end. It's a minor gripe, especially when Phosphene Dream is such a delight; but the addition of this finish on the album version of the song might have just about made it perfect.
  3. Inasmuch as they continue to build upon The Velvet Underground's Warhol-ian art rock daze and the psychedelic blues of hometown heroes The 13th Floor Elevators, The Black Angels attempt clarity with Phosphene Dream, revelatory guitar playing that owes more of itself to the garage gems associated with The Kinks, The Monks, The Troggs and even The Doors.
  4. It's not all zonked heaviness: There are smartly layered riffs and echo-slathered melodies.
  5. There's a definite identity to the band on this third album, and its highest points are some of the highest of the band's career thus far, but to this listener, the band lack the kind of killer edge displayed by newer challengers to the retro-rock throne, such as San Francisco's Wooden Shjips. That said, if you like the influences clearly on display, there's little to fault, and plenty of fuzzy swagger to bask in.
  6. 60
    The Austin Doors ramp up the psych-pop tunes. [Oct. 2010, p. 97]
  7. Phosphene Dream's real achievement is that it takes the band's earlier murderous attitude and makes it impossibly bland. It might be the first time you fall asleep during an album with copious references to toxic gas, hauntings, death, blood, and killing.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 23, 2012
    Legit throwback to oldies, especially The Doors. It is an album you'll love to dance to, feel EVERY sound, and appreciate every lyric. Maybe The Black Angels most addictive album. Collapse
  2. Sep 21, 2010
    Dark and Brooding with underlying harmonic rifts. This album is with out a doubt, a new favorite of mine.
  3. Dec 24, 2011
    If you miss Jim Morrison...well, he's back. No I mean this band sounds exactly like The Doors, especially in their debut (they lose this similarity with this album). They approach more of a 13th Floor Elevators influenced type of band appeal, which is pretty cool. What i like about them is that they aren't approaching the whole neo-psychedelia phase the same way everyone else is. I'm Pretty sure they got their name from the Velvet Underground song, and also because the Black angels have a track called Sunday Afternoon (maybe a sequel to Sunday Morning?) Expand