Alright Tzertzelos followers, it’s been quite a while since we posted any reviews as current crew members have been quite preoccupied lately. Nevertheless, let’s kick off again with underground band Black Helium that I feel will ascend to great heights through the release of this debut album. Comprised of heavy friends Stuart Gray (vocals/guitar), Beck Harvey (vocals/bass) Davey Mulka (guitar) and Ben Davies (drums), this band brought a truly unique mix of sound to my ears.
The album art shown in the first image will give you the right impression right off the bat. Imagine encountering your sludge demons on Psilocybin, while huddled together in a galactic orb swooping criss cross through “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. As said in the press release “‘Primitive Fuck’ represents the birth of a band your psychiatrist warned you about”.
Okay that sounds like a completely insane trip but let me take you through this festivity of delirium track by track:
Beginning with “Drowsy Shores“, you start wondering if this might be a country album until at 1:43 it hits you with heavy riffage and the rolls on the snare combined with some nimble-fingered bass brings you to an awesome metal theme that will also perfectly finish this track.
After that it’s time to start moving. Reminding me of those ZZ Top booty shaking tracks, “Love The Drugs” brings the boogie until the band decides space is the place for a laid back intermezzo which I’m sure could be even more elaborate on a live session of this track. Bass and drum announce the return of the main riff and I’m easily bouncing around again.
“Wicked Witch” I consider to be narrative poem guided musically by pretty sweet doomy riffs ending in a QOTSA like eeriness fitting to the lyrics. This continues right into the next track “Summer Spells” until a little over one minute in sludge is calling you for a head bang. After a return to the ghostly theme, you are met yet again with the heavy double guitars before slowly fading out.
Into something I hear as a heavy version of a Sonic Youth type of intermediate track “Videodrone“. A short one riff themed song with chaotic horns proving again that you can expect the least expected from this band.
Now we get to my personal favorite “Curtains At The Mausoleum“. Being a big fan of an expansive build up in songs, this song represents what I love about psych and space rock. Solid drum and bass keeping the groove with guitars and noise just lifting you off to higher grounds. Absolute love for this track!
But hey get back to earth and dust off those boogie shoes for the heavy yet glam track “Do You Want To Come Out Tonight?” and to answer that question, “for damn sure if you guys are playing”!
Last track, title track “Primitive Fuck” has the heaviest and sludgiest score off the whole album but first we pass an uptempo start before they get to that loud and (s)low goodbye. With noise sounding like screams straight out of purgatory you are left wondering what the hell did I just experience. In my case going back to the first track after this made me think this album’s tracklist is set up like an ouroboros, a great example of cyclicality.
The album releases 20th of July but you can hear two released songs, see a promo video and pre-order here!
Black Helium links:
Big thanks to Andi of Riot Season for access to the tracks!