Monday, 21 January 2013

Blaak Heat Shujaa - The Storm Generation EP Review

The Storm Generation EP cover art

Blaak Heat Shujaa

The Storm Generation 

TeePee Records
11 December 2012


Blaak Heat Shujaa are:

Thomas Bellier - guitars, vocals
Mike Amster - drums
Antoine Morel-Vulliez - bass


What do you get when you mix stoner rock with Voivod, psychedelia, 60's garage rock, surf rock, spaghetti westerns, Quentin Tarantino soundtracks and Scott Reeder? You get Blaak Heat Shujaa, a French stoner trio nowadays located in Los Angeles, that absolutely blows my mind! Despite the diversity of the references already mentioned the foundation of their music IS stoner but with healthy doses of the aforementioned styles. Such an amalgamation usually deflates any album if not executed right but that's not a problem for Blaak Heat Shujaa. They have it all sussed out and with Scott Reeder at the production helm their sonic vision is as beautiful as it can get

The Storm Generation is their first release for TeePee with their full length debut for the label scheduled for April. The EP was recorded at Scott Reeder's desert ranch and I do think the combination of Reeder recording them in that enviroment really brought out their visions in the best possible way. It's very organic and full in sound at the same time it's spacey allowing the band to go all-out psychedelic on us listeners...what a trip it is!

The Revenge Of The Feathered Pheasant initiates the band's sonic space trip and clocking in at 11:26 minutes the song contains everything the band is. Vocally Thomas Bellier reminds me so much of Snake from Voivod both in phrasing and sound and it's not a bad thing. It works to Blaak Heat Shujaa's advantage throughout the entire EP as it goes along so well with their super trippy take on stoner. Musically the song take us through a journey of a concoction of said Voivod, Pulp Fiction, garage rock, trippy and heavy fuzzed out rock. It rolls back and forth on the surf becoming seductive and hypnotic taking me out into the etheral world.

Incident At Stinson Beach follows and is the most out-and-out spaghetti western sounding track on Generation The Storm but fear not. None of their stoner traits are missing instead it helps creating Blaak Heat Shunjaa's unique style and sound. Third song out is Helios and it split in four parts. The first part is slow with a lot of twang from the guitar, then it kicks in with the band jamming out. It switches over to a slow segment again before ending with a long jam again.

This is how The Storm Generation plays out until the very end although the last two tracks The Storm/We Are The Fucking Storm and Fusil Contra Fusil are a bit more mellow than the others. Still they keep it psychedelic and stoned just they way they intended to. By the way Fusil Contra Fusil is a cover of a Silvio Hernandez song. 

One of the mid-tracks that I haven't mentioned yet is The Manifesto which is a recording of gonzo-writer Ron Whitehead sitting by a fire pit talking about what the gonzo movement stands for, presumably with Mario Lalli or maybe one of the band members.

All in all this is a great EP that really caught my attention and admiration immediately and I suggest that if you like stoner and want a new extremely good take on it, then look no further. With this release in mind I can't wait for their next full length to come out....fantastic!

Review by Håkan Nyman

A great review by a new member to the Sludgelord Team. Thanks Håkan. couldn't put it better myself. Roll on April 2013 when this brilliant band's new album is finally released upon to the world.

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