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Shane’s Rock Challenge: THE ANGELS – 1980 – Dark Room

| 16 June 2014 | 1 Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: THE ANGELS – 1980 – Dark Room
By Shane Pinnegar

The Angels - Dark Room cover

There’s no standout classic amongst The Angels’ early albums, but Dark Room is at least as good as the rest of them, even if it doesn’t have as many immediate slam dunks as, say, Face To Face.

Somehow they combine their unique pub rock sound – watertight rhythm tracks and angular, razor sharp, slicing guitars – with a theatrical edge that would make Alice Cooper proud, and a hard-to-put-your-finger-on tension that seems ever present in the air.

It’s what made them one of Australia’s premier chart and live attractions for fifteen years, and perhaps (and this is pure conjecture) what eventually snapped and led to the acrimony of more recent years.

I have the excellent Liberation Blue reissue from 2006, featuring interesting liner notes and a clutch of extras – b-sides, early takes, and so on.

Listening through it’s strange that the band didn’t make more of a name for themselves in America (even if that name was forced to be Angel City, or later, The Angels From Angel City) – the elements are all there, they were an untouchable live act in their heyday, and they simply wrote bloody excellent songs.

No Secrets opens this set, as fine a single as they released. Doc’s “can you please tell me what the time is” at the end is perfect, encapsulating paranoia and confusion. Wasted Sleepless Nights/Dark Room shows the more dramatic side of the band, again featuring an unforgettable melody, before Face The Day peels paint from the walls with it’s coruscating guitars and nails-scratching-glass vocals. One of their finest tracks.

Night Comes Early continues the dramatic ‘dark room’ theme, and Alexander provides a more upbeat respite – though one with a sinister feel to it, I’ve always thought.

By the time we’ve got to Devil’s Gate we’re barely prepared for the oomph Doc Neeson puts into the song – surely he must have blown his voice out recording this one?!

RIP Chris Bailey and Doc Neeson

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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  1. Tex says:

    Great review of darkroom

    Angel city and the demonic lead singer Doc Neeson -amazing talents!

    iPod playing small price from two minute warning another rolled gold cd

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