We don’t often get excited about an ominous black cloud barreling toward us on the horizon. Luckily, it’s not a rolling, rain-on-your-parade cumulus cloud I’m referring to, but Black Cloud, the first full-length from bluesy Portland quartet Tango Alpha Tango.
The dirty, electrified outfit has been busy prepping its debut fat Supernatural Studios in Oregon City, the hometown of frontman Nathan Trueb and his brother and keyboardist Aaron Trueb, live tracking and mixing the hour-long album in the studio. Their stellar Kill & Haight EP began streaming some of the forthcoming album’s heavier cuts, like the gritty title track and scuzz-soaked “Boom Boom,” in March—they also put out a live album with the help of the good folks at Banana Stand Media last year — but it’s nice to see a proper full-length coming to fruition.
The latest album cut to trickle out over the Web, “Brahma Bull,” is fittingly bullish. Drummer Walker Beckman lays down some light percussion for opening, Nathan Trueb’s acoustic guitar fluttering in with a riff that resembles blues-infused rock bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels. By the time the bass finely slinks in, a minute and half into the song, the cut veers off into hypnotic, psychedelic romp full of wavering organ, repetitive lyrics and haunting moans. Fun fact for the day: a brahma bull is supposedly a sacred species of Zebu cattle from India.
If you thought a good blues band needed the word “black” in their name to achieve great things, think again. Black Cloud officially drops on July 16, but you can snag an advance copy of album this weekend when the band plays its record release show and wraps up its West Coast tour at the Doug Fir.