After a few weeks of wallowing in the audible muck and mire spewed up by doom bands, I heard the parched siren's song of Blaak Heat Shujaa calling me to the desert. Their dusty psychedelic sound was just what I needed to wash the the black mold and filth from my ears so I gladly walked towards their oasis, mirages be damned.
And, as one would expect from Scott Reeder, who produced this album, it is the real deal. Blaak Heat Shujaa have refined their Middle East desert rock sound and come out strong and strange on their Tee Pee full length debut.
The album begins with Closing Time, Last Exit a sub-minute spoken word piece offered up by poet Ron Whitehead, whose words fade in then crystallize but before those words even get a chance to embed themselves in the lump of meat between your ears The Obscurantist Fiend whirls from your speakers like a deranged dervish, gleefully kicking the dust from your third eye. Once that sacred lens has been cleaned, the guitars settle into a meditative riff but kick up throughout the ten minute plus jam just too keep you tuned in. Shadows comes next, carrying the torch lit by the previous tune, but said light is dimmed. This is a more meditative piece, and the middle eastern scales are more prominent. Pelham Blue stands out on this album, not simply because it is the shortest song, clocking in a at little over five minutes, but because the monkish vocals that dominate the rest of the album have been replaced with more straight ahead singing. The track is reminiscent of an underrated psychedelic band, Spirit, far as the vocals go, and the posthypnotic groove in the background is spiked with some briefly shimmering guitar. Land of the Freaks, Home of the Brave closes the album with sparse psychedelia that builds to full on freak out before calming down again, and giving you five or so minutes to figure out your place in the cosmos, or, you know, whatever.
The album drops less than a month from now, on April 9th. Thanks be to Tee Pee.