Blaak Heat Shujaa
The Edge Of An Era

Label: Tee Pee Records/The orchard/Gordeon
Three similar bands: Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound/Sleepy Sun/Aqua Nebula Ocilator
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
1. Closing Time, Last Exit
2. The Obscurantist Fiend (The Beast Pt. I)
3. Shadows (The Beast Pt. II)
4. Society Of Barricades
5. Pelham Blue
6. Land Of The Freaks, Home Of The Brave

Thomas Bellier (Fender artifacts, incantations)
Antoine Morel-Vulliez (SVTs and such)
Mike Amster (Master percussionist and floor tom tamer)

Blaak Heat Shujaa (2010)

Ron Whitehead
Mario Lalli

Produced by Scott Reeder
mastered at Ventura, CA's Golden Mastering

Released 2012-06-07
Reviewed 2013-06-14

tee pee

European tour 2013:
05.06.2013 (IT) Rome, Sinister Noise
07.06.2013 (IT) Oristano,Fordongianus
10.06.2013 (IT) Torino, United Club
11.06.2013 (CH) Genf, L?Usine
12.06.2013 (CH) Bern, Dachstock
14.06.2013 (ES) San Sebastian, Le Bukowski
15.06.2013 (ES) Alcala de Henares, Ego Live
16.06.2013 (ES) Paramo, Taberna Belfast
17.06.2013 (ES) Burgos, Estudio 27
18.06.2013 (FR) Toulouse, Les Saint Des Seins
19.06.2013 (ES) Paris, Les Combustibles
20.06.2013 (BE) Arlon, L`Entrepot
21.06.2013 (NL) Den Haag, Paard Van Troje
22.06.2013 (NL) Schoonhoven, De Bastille
23.06.2013 (DE) Berlin, Bassy Cowboy Club
25.06.2013 (NO) Oslo, Revolver
26.06.2013 (SE) Kafe De Luxe
27.06.2013 (DK) Copenhagen, KB18
28.06.2013 (DE) Jena, Black Night
30.06.2013 (HU) Budapest, A38
02.07.2013 (SI) Ljubljana, Club Gromka
03.07.2013 (IT) Savignano Sul Rubicone, Sidro Club

t takes Blaak Heat Shujaa 40 1/2 minutes to do five tracks. That means they average eight minutes and a bit, which isn't strange if you look at the track times and see that three of these five are just above eight minutes while the shortest track is around 5 1/2 minutes and the longest 10 1/2 minutes. It seems this is a band that likes the lengthier tracks, which might be a good thing if you're the kind of person that prefers downloading sites where you buy songs for the same price regardless of the length. That's the gift for the fans, but the gift for them selves are the intro track, 57 seconds of unnecessarity that's kind of "if you want to give us a dollar extra, please do so - but it's not a track you actually need".

Psycho rock seems to be spreading almost pandemic from the american west coast at the moment and it seems like it's the big thing at the moment in that particular place. If you're a band playing this kind of music, like Blaak Heat Shujaa, then you should do like this band and get your ass over there asap because it's there the right people, recording studios and knowledge is at the moment and it's probably much easier to get to your full potential with these in your surroundings. Blaak Heat Shujaa has done this and moved from Paris for this second full length release and this will probably give them a whole bunch of more possibilities. I myself haven't heard too much from the debut but this second album does, at least from time to time, seem to have some exciting material - all though it seems to have a tendency to get stuck in some really long passages from time to time (which probably isn't very surprising considering the length of the songs).

The genre itself might seem a hefty task to undertake considering most bands that has reached success in the genre almost all came from 30-40 years ago or more. It seems very difficult to make something original in the genre lately but some 40 years ago when it peaked popularity it was the big thing, working well with the times of common drug use and the hippie movement. This music was created by people of the same ideas back then and it's not really the same kind of commonplace thing anymore (still it has got a strong base in the american west coast so that might say something about that place) but the music itself hasn't changed a lot over the years to how it sounds today. Psychedelic rock in 2013 just hasn't fallen far from it's tree and Blaak Heat Shujaa is not particularly different from other bands in this genre - neither from the bands of the 60's and 70's nor the bands of today. One could say they sound just the right amount of psychedelic for being a psychedelic band.

The thing I feel is most disappointing with this album isn't anything in the music itself seen to the overall performance but how they build up a great mood and tension in the first minute and 50 seconds of the album (the intro and first 50 seconds of the second track) only to kill it of without a glint of mercy in just one fatal stab to the heart of the tempo. The opening sounds extremely promising but what they do 50 seconds in to The Obscurantist Fiend (The Beast Pt. I) is to cut a wound in the music that's very difficult to cure. They try, I guess, and about 20 minutes in to the album I feel I've started to forgive them for the violence they commit on their own music… but it's not because they've done anything particularly good 20 minutes in to the album, but because I feel that after 20 minutes of going over and over with their sound doing the same thing once, changing it, changing it back and then going back and forth like this round and around… well, I've just forgotten how promising the start was by then.

Sometimes this music really does sound pretty good, sometimes - though - it's extremely repetitive and goes in to a sort of grinding sound in the passages that takes them absolutely nowhere. The band does a good job performing and producing this material, the only problem with it is that most of is quite uninteresting. Unfortunately I don't find any of these tracks particularly good or distinguishing from the rest of the songs and that's partly due to the length of the songs because when you do songs like these, that doesn't seem to have an upper limit of what to extend them with it's easy there's a whole lot of trash sneaking in to the mix. And it has done so in these songs. Overall I think the performance is OK but the peaks just isn't there and honestly I miss a whole lot of things to feel really moved by this.

However, if you are a fan of psychedelic rock or just like things melting together as in an electric sea with plenty of strong colours and not very much that's coherent in a sensible way? Well, then I'd say this is an album that should work very well for you. The rest of us then? Honestly… it does work to listen to without getting insane, but I'm not feeling anything ecstatic either.





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