Your 33 Black Angels. i wonder what that is supposed to mean? Why are there 33 of them? Is this some kind of Satanic thing?
Your 33 Black Angels (from here on i will save time by typing Y33BA instead) is a band from New York, but anything beyond that is mysterious. It seems as if there are a few regular members and some other people who float in and out. But they have been at it since 2012 and have a dozen releases on BandCamp.
I have never heard of them before, but better late than never! Y33BA make a sort of electro damaged pop. It's not synthpop, but there are synthesizers. It's not electroclash, but there are some songs that lean in that direction. It's not new wave, although there does seem to be a good bit of that in the mix, especially with jangly guitars and sing-along choruses. They take a lot of different elements, play with them some, and make them into something unique and enjoyable.
The record starts off like New Order's Technique with an electronic drum sound and a looped hi-hat. Dirty Europa Forever moves along happily. After you have listened to the album all the way through, you realize they have started off with a sort of remix of a tune later on the record, a song called Viva Dirty Europa. Odd to start off with a remix of a song that the listener hasn’t heard yet, but it is still a fun start to the record.
Then the next song comes in with an insistent beat, throbbing synths, clattering post-punk guitar, and a voice that wavers like M. Resplendent in The Fire Show! This song is called Hott Funn, and indeed it is. I mean, really: how often do i get to reference The Fire Show? (Answer: not nearly enough!)
The third song is just called Title. Heh. A female voice comes in on this one, singing over guitars that jangle like something from early R.E.M. Later it pulses with some echo in way that reminds me of Wang Chung. Everybody Y33BA tonight!
The band take a brief interlude with Consolac¸a~o Vignette , a minute and a half of tinkling guitars and sparking guitar. It is a bright, sunshiny new wavish interlude. Then it is back to the jangly new wave for Endless Gaze, another really catchy happy song that just bounces along.
And then we are to Viva Dirty Europa, which is a skipping electro beat and the voice. This is bouncy fun, and it has synth bass, something of which there can never be enough! The intro grows and then eventually the guitar comes in, a sparkling trill as the and the beat is a crazy electro thing that bounces everywhere. This is shuffle your feet and bounce along catchy!
For Habibi they go for a Middle Eastern kind of vibe, with odd percussion, strange layers of drone, and the voice wavering. At about seven and a half minutes, it goes on a bit too long. But otherwise it works.
The next tune is epic, and even has an epic title: Dead New Romantics. The title leads me to ask: i know Simon Le Bon is getting on in years, but is he okay? Anyway, Y33BA does a great job here, with a guitar that tinkles along, plodding bass, and soaring keys. The voice is high pitched on this song, and in fact he sounds kind of like Perry Farrell. So, this song is Jane's Addiction if they had started 10 years earlier. It's pretty cool. Except for the last minute or so which is unnecessary noise of the instruments being tortured and the sounds twisted. And please note: i say "unnecessary noise" as someone who own Jesus & Mary Chain records. So, if i say the noise is unnecessary, i mean it!
After the noise ends, Y33BA give us a lazy Beatles-y pop tune with Britpop Reveries. The guitar kind of chugs slowly as the voice meanders in some sort of story about wandering around Camden Town. I guess they were going for Oasis, but this sounds more like the channeled the source that Oasis strived for, at least to me. This ends with a sort of burbling coda that is actually a separate track called Microwave Mistral. It's less than half a minute, a bare blip.
Disgrace is a jangly new wavish tune similar to Endless Gaze, but i think the previous tune fills this song template better.
The next song leaves jangle-land and heads into the dark forest of synthpop. Loathe is a bouncy tune of keyboard warbles and trebly guitar. It seems like an early Erasure song, in a way.
Finally, the record ends with Dark G, a strange, meandering, burbling tune. This is noise and barely coheres into any sort of song structure. Not their best work... there is some sort of odd out of focus vocal sample... at five and a half minutes this is far too long for something that never goes anywhere. An odd, and might i say poor, choice to end the record.
But overall, this is really engaging stuff. Y33BA have taken a lot of different sort of sounds sand stirred them all together to make something that stands out from the mass of promos i get these days.