Seeing as its been more than 10 years since the last Broadcast album (RIP Trish), Black Sabbath are just a tribute band, and Swell Maps stopped existing long before I was born, it feels like it's probably time for a great band to arise from Birmingham. Considering it's meant to be the UK's self styled 'second city', its artistic output has been about as good as its football teams' in recent years - so it's about time the Midlands gave us another brooding, invasive group of cathartic noise-mongers, again, isn't it.
Well, in BLACKASH, we mighta found that band - although with only one song up it is early days. They've got that MBV-like ability to come up with one motif, one electric melody, and spread it out over the course of a song in a way that doesn't get boring. And they combine that with a Klaus Dinger-like motorik oblivion that drives the guitars on and on (on Black Witch they get to the 10 minute mark), even if they don't wanna be pushed that far. And of course, we can't forget their ability to summon up the unholy with some evil riffing, psychedelic textural heaven, and some snarling Lux Interior-like vocals.
Black Witch is their only song to date, but doesn't it sound promising? It's like an electrocuted Wooden Shjips bringing Bela Lugosi back to life with some Bauhausian croonage and mind-whirling psychedelia. The sheer ambition of it is head-spinning, the effect this track has on the human psychee is unavoidably intense; but after you've recovered from the bleakness of the post-BLACKASH comedown you'll experience when you're no longer listening to it, it'll fill you with optimism that we've gotta seriously excited band on our hands. Some of the band come from acid-house and DnB roots, obviously apparent by their ability to leave you hypnotised better than almost any guitar band I've encountered all year, whilst the rest seemingly have their background in noisy, noisy shamanism.
The band's debut EP is out Dec 3, but for now give Black Witch a whirl. You can pre-order it from Static Caravan, which you should, as each individual record comes ingested with some of the Earth's core's black ash. Whoa.
(Words: Cal Cashin)