Christian Bland is probably best known as a guitarist in the Black Angels. Christian Bland & The Revelators is a side project of Bland’s that utilizes the droning guitar work from Bland that you might hear in music from The Black Angels. I first checked out Christian Bland & The Revelators last year before I started writing on this website, but never really got too far into their discography. This album, The Lost Album (2010), appears to be the first release from Christian Bland & The Revelators based on the group’s Bandcamp page. The album was first recorded in 2007, but the release was delayed three years after the tapes went missing and were then discovered in an old garage in South Austin, Texas. I’m pretty stoked to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Don’t Talk Today” gradually fades in with some raw garage rock guitar sort of sounds that seemingly continually get more drone-like as the tune continues flowing along in a psychedelic manner. Super sweet track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Jabberwocky” gets started with some really chaotic sounds from the percussion and the almost discordant guitar. Holy smokes, this track is super strange, and I’m really digging it. The vocals are a recitation of the poem, “Jabberwocky”, by Lewis Carroll, and the guitar and vocals seem to harmonize with one another while getting coaxed along by a repetitive, hollow-sounding beat. There are also some really sweet organs that seem to harmonize with the raw guitar work from the other side of the soundscape. Wow, great track.
“Flashing Signs” starts out with a sort of bubblingly spacey synth, which is soon joined by an almost cowboy-esque, relaxed guitar line; the combination almost sounds like the build up to some sort of psychedelic cowboyish standoff between a criminal and a sheriff a-la “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins. Holy smokes, the guitar work picks up in intensity as the beat comes in. The track does remind me a bit of a more experimental, raw-sounding version of The Black Angels. I really dig the syncopation between the drums and guitar work. The track sort of reminds me of modern psychedelic garage rock groups like the New Candys or Magic Shoppe. Super sweet track.
“I See You” gets grooving with a super sweet acoustic guitar chord progression that gets the track flowing nicely. Oh wow, I really dig the tremolo’d electric guitar. I’m reminded a lot of The Brian Jonestown Massacre with this track. Holy smokes, I really dig the organs that enter the soundscape, which almost provide a sort of mysterious mixture of what sounds to be 80s and Transylvanian flavors that I really dig. Great track.
“Emotionless Man” starts out with a really drippy-sounding electric guitar chords that melt into the soundscape, while a sweet acoustic guitar gently provides a sort of melodic rhythm with a chord progression. Oh wow, I really dig the distorted chords as the song builds up. I’m kind of reminded of the Deftones meets mellow 1960s psychedelic rock or even more drone-like psychedelic groups that have been influenced by Spacemen 3. There also seems like there might be a sitar in the background adding even more droning flavors, but I’m not sure. Great track.
“Ho Chi Minh” gets started with an upbeat feel with clapping and shouting in the background reminiscent of modern indie rock songs, while the beat and guitar work feel vaguely psychedelic as the high notes in the vocals keep the song flowing along. Super sweet tune.
Oh wow, “Katy” starts out with a super sweet harmonica and almost folksy beginning reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde (1966), or Roger McGuinn’s self-titled 1970 album. Oh wow, the bell-piano really goes nicely with the bright acoustic guitar chord progression. The vocals almost sound like a demo from the early days of The Beach Boys. Super sweet track.
“Icy Gray” starts out with some sweet, droning vocals that flow along to an acoustic guitar chord progression, a spacious double backbeat, and what almost sound to be a sort of galloping percussion representative of riding a horse in the old west. Oh wow, I really dig the layering of the vocals in this track. Super sweet tune.
“Wishing Well” starts out with a super groovy acoustic guitar chord progression that is soon backed up by some distorted guitar lines and a backbeat. Holy smokes, I really dig the tremolo’d distorted electric guitar in this track. The soundscape reminds me a ton of Tess Parks’ style, and a bit of The Brian Jonestown Massacre as well. Wow, great track.
“Psychic Haze” gradually fades in with what sounds to be a reversed gust of wind, and then some super groovy flowing psychedelic rock flavors enter the soundscape with some distorted guitar and a meandering beat reminiscent of The Black Angels. Oh wow, I really dig how you can hear the scraping of the strumming of an acoustic guitar, as though it’s serving as some sort of accentuation to the percussion. Holy smokes, these jams in this track keep growing, flowing, and building in some super groovy ways. The reversed effects on the cymbals and percussion almost sound like waves crashing on the shoreline. Holy smokes, I really dig the way this tune keeps flowing and evolving. The soundscape is totally different to how the song started, at this point almost sounding like you’re riding some sort of slowly rolling wave in the Pacific ocean while the sun sets behind you. Oh wow, the track seems to gradually come to a sort of flowing, droning close reminiscent again of groups like the New Candys or Magic Shoppe. Wow, great track.
“Tallahassee Lassie” gets started with a really sweet medley of sort of raw, modern psychedelic garage rock droning sounds playing a classic early rock and roll tune originally by Freddy Cannon. Holy smokes, I’m really digging this track. The piano and one of the guitars really brings in classic rock and roll flavors, while the overall soundscape feels right at home in this sort of droning psychedelic garage rock album. Great track.
“Don’t Talk Today Part 2” gets grooving with some sort of deep, almost dark, droning grooves with low guitars, a flowing beat, and lots of experimental distortion. The soundscape almost reminds of the dark experimentalism from groups like Current 93. Super sweet track.
“Murder At My Lai” starts out with what sounds to be a distant, treble-y radio, which is then joined by a really sweet, sort of folksy acoustic guitar chord progression that reminds me a bit of the psychedelic folk stylings of Simon Finn from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Holy smokes, the vocals in this track are super sweet and are delivered with a really pleasant, gentle approach. The sounds of the radio tuning have been present in the background throughout a majority of the track thus far as well, seemingly ebbing and flowing in and out of the soundscape as the track continues. Wow, great track, and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, I’m really glad that I checked out this album tonight, and now I want to dive further into the Christian Bland & The Revelators discography. The album had a super groovy, modern psychedelic garage rock feel that incorporated droning and experimentalism throughout the listening experience, while sometimes even using elements of folk music and anti-folk music. If you’re a fan of modern psychedelic garage rock and experimental rock, and/or are looking to dive deeper into bands and projects related to The Black Angels, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.