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.”
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.