The Blue Angel Lounge are a psychedelic rock band that was first formed in western Germany in 2006. The group is named after the New York club where Nico (from the Velvet Underground) had her first solo performances. This album, The Blue Angel Lounge (2008), appears to be the group’s debut studio album, of which they appear to have a total of three thus far, along with a compilation album and a live album. The group has earned the support of groups like The Dandy Warhols and A Place To Bury Strangers, and has toured the U.S. with The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The Brian Jonestown Massacre is one of my favorite groups, and I know they’re commonly associated with The Dandy Warhols, though I’ve not taken the time yet to listen to the Warhols and should change that, so I’m pretty stoked to give the group a listen. With that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“Looming Solid Massive Steamer” starts out with a mixture of droning tones from what sound to be organs and a sitar gradually fading in. Oh wow, I really dig the tremolo’d acoustic guitar chord progression that enters the soundscape. At the moment, I’m very much reminded of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and other related artists. Oh wow, the drums are picking up while the guitar work seems to continually mystify me. Oh wow, the tune changes up quite a bit as the song enters a new, mellow movement that again feels reminiscent of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Oh wow, a really groovy, melty guitar enters the soundscape around the same time as the droning vocals come into the song. I’m almost reminded of “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles meets some melty, mellow psych rock from groups like The Darkside or even Spacemen 3, with a hint of the flowing psych style of The Black Angels. Great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Ashes Round the Skull” starts out with some groovy electric guitar work that feels vaguely surf-inflected before venturing into something more desert-like. I’m kind of reminded of “Do You Believe” by Liverpool Five of their 1967 album, Out of Sight. Holy smokes, I’m really digging this sort of twangy, tin-y instrumental section in the latter half of the track. Super sweet tune.
“Desert Shore” fades in with a medley of droning folk instruments that sounds vaguely middle eastern. Oh wow, a dark, reverberated guitar line has entered the soundscape to take a really interesting melodic lead. I really dig the tight, bouncing bass line, which seems to add a flavor of mid-to-late 1960s psychedelic rock to what sounds to be some sort of middle eastern-inflected psychedelic folk tune that I’m really digging. Oh wow, I really dig the way the bass line loosens up a bit as the band gets into a flowing groove near the end of the song. Great track.
“Orange in Green” begins with an easy-going droning sound from what sounds to be a sitar, which is soon joined by an upbeat, bright acoustic guitar chord progression set to a sturdy beat. Oh wow, I really dig the way the vocals seem to fade in and out of an otherworldly plane in this track. I’m once again reminded of The Brian Jonestown Massacre with this tune. Super sweet track.
“Into Cold Water” starts out with a groovy guitar line that at first reminds me of classic early rock guitar lines from musicians like Link Wray, and gradually the guitar continues to flow along as other instruments are added in, leading to an increasingly psychedelic feel. Oh wow, I really dig the way the vocals in the chorus meet up with the acoustic guitar chord progression and mystifying keyboard lines as the chorus seems to come to some sort of sweet peak before flowing along and building back up again. Great track.
“Hundred Years in Love” gets started with what sounds to be a relatively simple acoustic guitar chord progression, and soon more and more layers are added to the soundscape to create a sort of mystifying folk-inflected psychedelic flavor that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the percussion comes in with some super groovy flavors; the bass drum almost sounds like a tabla while the shakers gradually coax the song along. Oh wow, the song seems to continually increase in intensity, as though you’re riding a boat on what was once a gentle river that seems to become more rapid and tumultuous as you continue your journey. Great track.
“Die Away as One in Time” starts out with some mellow, peaceful notes from an electric guitar. Oh wow, the vocals have a really sweet sound with the chorus style. Oh wow, the instrumentation almost takes on a sort of middle east folk meets American cowboy folk style for a moment. I really dig the way the track intensifies for a bit with distortion and resolves back to the mellow beginning. Great tune.
“The God” starts out with a mystifying, mellow electric guitar line that is joined by some droning tones from what sound to be a guitar in the background. I’m once again reminded of The Brian Jonestown Massacre with this track. Oh wow, I really dig the way the bass guitar and the vocals seem to groove in line with one another. Oh wow, the track breaks through to a super groovy, upbeat chorus that almost sounds like middle eastern folk meets a sort of modern, west coast psychedelic folk rock sound that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, the track builds up a bit of tension with some dissonance from keyboards for a moment before breaking through to the super sweet chorus movement again. Wow, I’m really digging this song so far. Great track.
Holy smokes, “LSD and the Search for God” gets started with a super sweet, mellow, lightly distorted guitar chord progression that reminds me of the album Tess Parks made with Anton Newcombe, I Declare Nothing (2015). Oh wow, I really dig the droning tones that continually build up in the background. The jangly percussion really reminds me a fair deal of The Brian Jonestown Massacre as well, and I’m really digging the sound. Holy smokes, it sounds like there’s almost an echo of a brass instrument of some sort that melds with the droning tones in the background really nicely. Great track.
“Rising End” starts with a really sweet, almost lo-fi sounding guitar chord progression, which is then joined by some sparse, jangling percussion, and a repetitive guitar note that has a really sweet droning feel. Holy smokes, the repetitive guitar note seems to break through as the song enters another movement. I really dig the way the bass guitar moves along with the acoustic guitar in this track. Holy smokes, the guitars all seem to be building up to a super sweet crescendo of some sort. Oh wow, there seem to be some spacey keyboards/synths near the end of the song that I really dig. Wow, great track and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, I really dig this album. I really dig the use of droning tones throughout that meld together what sounds to be a folksy inflection originating from the middle east with modern psychedelic rock and psychedelic folk rock sounds, while even still incorporating some elements that were reminiscent of some of the psychedelic rock stylings of the mid-to-late 1960s. If you’re a fan of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and/or groups adjacent to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and/or you enjoy a sort of mellow, folk-inflected psychedelic rock sound, 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.