The Black Keys headlined the first day of Coachella. Black Sabbath is about to play Lollapalooza. Local metal phenom Black Fast just wowed a crowd at Euclid Records for Record Store Day. These are all reminders that black is the official color of rock & roll. Here are the six best "Black ______" bands. Please note that this list is limited to bands whose first word is "black" excluding bands like Big Black, and it does not include solo artists. Let us know what "Black _____" band made you never want to go "Back _____".
6. Black Eyes
Black Eyes was a noisy post-punk outfit from Washington DC with upwards of ten members, including two drummers who shared a bass drum. It was a polarizing ensemble, particularly because of its two singer dynamic; one had a perfect Ian Mackaye-esque low tenor yell and the other sounded like a mix between a Blood Brother and a castrated hyena. Black Eyes released two albums on Dischord Records and embarked on a handful of tours before fizzling out. But those relatively few shows are the stuff of legend - including the St. Louis date opening for Q and Not U where the crowd partook in a "tickle pit."
5. Black Mountain
Of all the bands in the post-millennial stoner metal revival, Black Mountain is the most diverse and consistently effective. Much of this is due to singer Stephen McBean, who is equally comfortable as an Ozzy figure supporting a behemoth riff or as the ringleader of a tender ballad. But props are also due to Amber Webber, whose powerful and vulnerable vocals recall Grace Slick, and the subtle yet essential work from keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt. It's hard to imagine any other band being able to pull off a track like "Tyrants," which sounds like "Stairway To Heaven," Dark Side Of The Moon, and Braveheart in one fell swoop.
4. Black Moth Super Rainbow
Landing somewhere between an experimental band and a cutesy cult, Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow is redefining the meaning of "weird.". This involves anonymizing stage names for its members (like "Tobacco" and "The Seven Fields Of Aphelion") and putting out a 3" CD titled Chinese Witch Guy With An Axe and nonchalantly performing with Mike Watt playing bass and doing a split with Octopus Project that makes that band seem like the normal one and releasing an album with a scratch and sniff cover. All this conceptual weirdness fits the group's music perfectly, all vocoders and broken synths, like a robot army trying to cover Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin.
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