Austin's Black Angels
take their name from the Velvet Underground's "The Black Angel's Death Song" and ominously sing about war, paranoia, devastation, Hell and death of course, death over a weighty, dark-hued, funereal rock drone. Singer Alex Maas howls that he's "ready to feel the bite" on "Bloodhounds on My Trail" (a song taken from the Black Angels' debut full-length, Passover
), as the rest of the band echoes Robert Johnson's deal with the devil. "Better Off Alone," a thumping raga rocker that could easily be an alternate soundtrack to the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now
, is something akin to Jim Morrison fronting the Velvets. But echoes of the gloomier side of new wave as heard in acts such as Suicide, Joy Division and the Teardrop Explodes also appear.