I think it’s cool that The Ghost Wolves end an al­bum full of rage with a sweet wink and a joke. Long may they howl.

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - Dr. Strange

other for launch­ing the mod­ern-day “psychedelic rock” move­ment. But un­like many bands who claim that de­scrip­tion, The Black An­gels ac­tu­ally live up to both the psychedelic and the rock sides of the equa­tion. Of­ten, so-called psychedelic rock is too spacey, with an­noy­ingly me­an­der­ing noodling. Or it’s so fey and pre­cious it makes Dono­van look like Randy “Ma­cho Man” Sav­age — and makes me want to whack a hob­bit in the head with a shovel. But The Black An­gels — even back in their early days, when they were fond of 14-minute sound odysseys — have a tough sound that has never fallen into those traps. Like the best groups of the orig­i­nal psychedelic daze, the An­gels’ re­verb-drenched garage-rock roots are al­ways ap­par­ent. Their heads may be in some bizarre di­men­sion, but their feet are on the ground.

There are lots of solid rock­ers on this al­bum. One of my fa­vorites has a not very peace-and-love ti­tle: “I’d Kill for Her.” The gui­tars scream while Alex Maas sings a tale of love and death: “She was so loaded/And mes­mer­iz­ing/I had to fol­low/Her black hori­zon/No, I will not kill for her again.” Even stronger is “Hunt Me Down,” with its thun­der­ous bron­tosaurus beat, while the bouncy “Grab as Much (As You Can)” — was this in­spired by our cur­rent pres­i­dent? — has a bass line sim­i­lar to the Bea­tles’ “Tax­man” and an end­ing that might have been in­spired by “A Day in the Life.” Mean­while, “Co­manche Moon,” which con­cerns the geno­cide of the Amer­i­can In­dian, starts out with a Byrds-y folk-rock gui­tar hook that soon yields to an All­mans-es­que “Whip­ping Post” riff.

Vel­vet Un­der­ground fans will im­me­di­ately catch the sig­nif­i­cance of the al­bum’s ti­tle — though noth­ing on this record sounds like the folk­ish, Dy­lan-in­flu­enced “The Black An­gel’s Death Song” from the Vel­vets’ de­but. The fi­nal two tracks here seem to be a nod to it, though. “Death March” sounds like a de­scent into the un­der­world, with drums that sug­gest the band is ready for bat­tle. Maas’ voice sounds down­right ghostly. The fi­nal tune is a six-minute dirge called “Life Song,” which may be closer to Pink Floyd than The Black An­gels have ever come be­fore. En­ter the di­men­sion of The Black An­gels at www.the­blackan­gels.com. ▼ BBQ by Mark Sul­tan. This is the lat­est solo al­bum by Cana­dian Mark Sul­tan, a one-man band who is also half of the two-man band known as The King Khan & BBQ Show. He plays gui­tar and drums (via foot pedal) at the same time. But Sul­tan’s real strength is his soar­ing voice. While a number of the bet­ter-known one-man out­fits with roots in the punk racket play a hopped-up ver­sion of the blues, Sul­tan’s best songs are rooted in doo-wop and/or early soul. Right now my fa­vorite on this al­bum is “Rock Me,” in which he makes a cred­i­ble stab at be­ing the best liv­ing Sam Cooke im­per­son­ator. Smell the BBQ at www.inthere­drecords.com/col­lec­tions/ mark-sul­tan.

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