Your 33 Black Angels has been getting a lot of attention lately, and rightfully so. Here’s some things you should know about them:
1. They are the only band I can think of in the past 15 years (at least) that I first heard about through Rolling Stone magazine. Not the actual magazine of course, I haven’t bought one of those in, well, about 15 years, but through a fan of the band (thanks Bryan) who directed me that way. To think, in this day and age a band can be featured in RS virtually before anywhere else. Remarkable.
2. Lonely Street, their debut album, was first released in a limited edition LP with only 250 individually numbered, pressed copies earlier this year. It’s now available on CD.
3. “Y33BA was born in Brooklyn, but dreamed in a West Harlem flophouse. There was a bottle of Wild Turkey, grown men in boxers, and far too much bachata music going around.” I don’t know what a flophouse is, or bachata music for that matter, but it sounds like a good time.
4. The band is playing a big Halloween show in Brooklyn. Check it:
10/31/07 - Heavenly Horrors III. Don Pedro’s.
90 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn. $7 door. 7 PM.
5. Critics (well, bloggers and David Fricke) are mentioning Loaded-era Velvet Underground quite a bit in describing Y33BA’s sound, as well as Pink Mountaintops (not familiar), and The Unicorns (not hearing it). Personally I’m hearing The Silver Jews, especially on leadoff track “I Took A Deep Breath”. Lead singer John Westfal’s voice is a very un-Brooklyn-like creeky drawl that immediately brought David Berman to my mind.
6. The band mixes hard-driving Bob Dylan-meets-Dinosaur Jr. rockers (“Psycho On Your Side”) with completely un-ironic, feel-good, mid-tempo country rock (“Me And My Girl”) to great effect.
7. Lonely Street is the best kind of debut album - one that has plenty of highly enjoyable tunes scattered throughout it, but more importantly shows real promise for the future. It sounds like a band that is still feeling itself out, getting comfortable playing and recording with one another, but still knocking out melodic, passionate, memorable rock n’ roll songs.