Night Beats • garage rock • Myth of a Man

Saturday March 16, 2019

407 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
US

Phone: 505-242-4900
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Phone: 505-242-4900

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Night Beats - Myth Of A Man

Myth Of A Man is a reckoning, a shoot-out at dawn, the ear-splitting peel-out

that leaves nothing but a cloud of red dust in its wake. It marks a new era for

Night Beats and its frontman, Danny Lee Blackwell--an era marked by

independence, expansion, and undiscovered facets of an undeniable talent.

The outlaw rumble and screeching guitar of "Eyes On Me" offer the familiar

garage groove of the Night Beats sound, but the lyrics reveal a pivotal shift.

"Will I rise or will I fall / Crash against the canyon wall / Give the people what

they came to see / Everybody's eyes / On me," Blackwell sings. The song

may have been inspired by a failed Evel Knievel jump, but it's Blackwell

himself that seems to be poised at the edge of Snake River Canyon, a lone

figure against the dusty ridge and setting sun, staring down both doom and

glory.

While Blackwell has always fed off the musical legacy of his Texas roots--

Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Krayola, The Black

Angels and more paving the way for the napalm-coated psych-rock headtrip

of past albums--Myth Of A Man has him pulling from the surrogate

wellspring of Nashville, Tennessee. It was there that he worked with the

eminent Dan Auerbach, and a murderer's row of battle-worn session

musicians--the combined weight of experience that comes from working

with every legend from Aretha Franklin to Elvis not lost on Blackwell. "I was

just humbled by being accepted," he explains, "Big hearts all around."

With an arsenal of both Auerbach and the seasoned vets, Blackwell was

eager to collaborate, their expertise and studied ears opening his songs up

to new sonic directions. "There was definitely a conscious decision to

expand and try things differently," Blackwell explains, "I try to push against a

brick wall all the time." You can hear the sound of Nashville creeping into the

chorus of "Stand With Me", in the triumphant, Glen Campbell strut of "There

She Goes," or even in the wounded, battered, and bourbon-soaked spirit of

"(Am I Just) Wasting My Time," a wistful take on bad romance that Blackwell

might as well be singing to us from the lonely stool at the dark end of the bar.

The result is an album that's less of the bloodshot acid trip of Sonic Bloom

(2013) and Who Sold My Generation (2016) and more of the hazy

comedown. The moody organ comps and slow stroll of the 12-string on "Her

Cold Cold Heart" evoke the noxious feeling and hypnotic state of toxic love,

 

the spirit of Bill Withers is flowing through the acoustic guitar and sun-soaked

shuffle of "I Wonder," and string-trimmed ballads like "Footprints" and "Too

Young To Pray" evoke the imaginative, cowboy psychedelia of fellow Texan,

Lee Hazlewood. "Let Me Guess" with its searing riff and Elevators-esque

organ assures us that the scuzzy sound we know and love is alive and well,

while "One Thing," a song about being used and abused--or as Blackwell

sharply puts it, "being rolled up and smoked"--has plenty of fuzzed-out

guitars to let us know he might just be happy about it.

Written during a particularly destructive period of the band, the album is

populated by fallen angels, blood-sucking wanderers, and vindictive lovers--

sketches of people the band has surely come across during their cosmic

roving through the underground--but the character most present is

Blackwell, himself. "Myth Of A Man can be summed up as a personal display

of vulnerability and guilty conscience," he explains, "Destroying the mythos

of what it means to live and function in society." With its bold steps forward,

Myth Of A Man serves as both a takedown and reintroduction of the band as

we know it--the strongest evidence that you'll never be able to pin Night

Beats down.