Christian Bland & The Revelators

The Unseen Green Obscene

Written by: BV on 09/10/2014 14:06:26

Christian Bland is perhaps most well-known for his work as a member of the neo-psychedelic band The Black Angels where his fuzzy lead guitar is a frequently occurring attention grabber in their dark and reverb-drenched soundscapes. With his solo project, Christian Bland & The Revelators, the reverb is cranked up as high as ever on their third outing “The Unseen Green Obscene” and Bland’s echo-drenched musical vision starts to manifest itself as something entirely different from The Black Angels.

Opening with “The Sun is Fading Away”, the album seems to perfectly fit that strange melancholy befitting of the summer’s end and the coming of the fall. Echo-drenched as always, Christian Bland’s voice becomes indiscernible in the most intriguing of ways – making the lyrical content second to the delivery of the vocals. The minimalist soundscape in “The Sun is Fading Away” and the following track “The Last Summer”, often only consisting of a tremolo guitar, some light percussion, a bass line and Bland’s vocals, is definitely one of the most low-key album openings I’ve heard in quite some time and is, in all fairness, not indicative at all of what is to come for the rest of the album’s duration.

Coming up on “Daughters of the Son”, the album reaches a temporary highlight with this slow-grooving psych-blaster, showcasing Bland’s apparent love for simple organ melodies, distorted bass lines and a small dosage of what appears to be jug-playing reminiscent of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators. In spite of the vocals being borderline indiscernible, “Daughters of the Son” retains a remarkably catchy chorus due in no small part to Bland’s eclectic vocal styling and the sheer groove of the track’s collective soundscape.

With “Syd Barrett Blues” Bland pays homage to one of British psychedelia’s utmost pioneers in an acoustic manner that is surprisingly similar to Syd Barrett’s later work with Pink Floyd – “Jugband Blues” being the prime example popping up in my mind. The lessened echo effect on the track also reveals that Bland’s voice is not only eclectic but also enthralling in its own way. It’s not a technically proficient vocal, nor is it perfect in pitch. But it has character and feels relatable at the same time, giving you a strange urge to sing along to the lyrics if you are actually able to decipher them – otherwise you’ll just feel the urge to hum strange made up lyrics any way.

“LifeBoat” ends “The Unseen Green Obscene” with another semi-melancholic psych outing that leaves me wondering in particular aspect – where is Christian Bland’s lead guitar? It would seem that Christian Bland and The Revelators continue their efforts here on their third outing to distinguish themselves from the fame of The Black Angels by abandoning all Christian Bland is commonly known for, in favor of a psych-folk garage onslaught that features intriguing songwriting but lacks the hooks that made (and still make) The Black Angels so accessible. I’m digging “The Unseen Green Obscene” to be perfectly honest, but it couldn’t possibly hurt the project to incorporate some fuzzed-out lead guitar into the mix more often.

Download: Syd Barrett Blues, CB160, Daughters of the Son, Guns for Guitars
For the fans of: The Black Angels, Syd Barrett, The UFO Club, The Blue Angel Lounge
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.09.2014
Reverberation Appreciation Society

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