For a while I thought that The Black Angels were the ultimate 60's retro band. Then I heard this album. Now I know for certain that this is the best 60's retro band you will ever hear. The Black Angels are good but they aren't down and dirty enough. Their sound is an art-school, intellectualized, sanitized version of the 60's - a cross between Jefferson Airplane, the Doors and a bit of Velvet Underground drone. There's nothing intellectual, arty or sanitized about Night Beats. They've inserted themselves nut deep into the blues, the ooze, the viscera, the mucus membrane of the 60's. Its raw. Its rude. Its righteously down and dirty. The singer/guitarist - Danny Lee Blackwell - is sensational. He's painstakingly recreated the guitar sounds you hear on all those one hit wonder 60's garage bands. He's also nailed the shimmering Delta blues guitar sound. And he can do Byrds style finger-picking and Grateful Dead style psychedelia as well. As a result, this album sounds like the coolest 60's compilation album ever. And then there's his voice. Its the voice of one of those 22 year old 'heads' that just appeared out of nowhere in 67, 68. They'd already been on the 'streets' for years and had lived, seen and done everything. And all those experiences had etched themselves onto their vocal chords.
The rhythm section provide the perfect tight but loose backdrop to Blackwell's flights of fancy. And they all look the part, particularly the drummer. His face looks like a thousand 60's all-nighters. And yes, you could ask why anyone in the 2000's would want to recreate the sound of a previous generation so faithfully, so minutely. My answer to that is - who gives a flying fcuk when its as good as this. Their songs 'Sonic Bloom' and 'Outta Mind' are the greatest 60's songs ever recorded. They just arrived 4 decades too late.