Don’t let the initial mellow drone of “Drowsy Shores,” mislead you—psychedelic London fuzzrockers Black Helium wake in whatever bottle-littered basement/desolate pub/rainy gutter they called their bed last night ready to party HARD. After its sleepy crawl, the opener of their provocatively titled debut (Primitive Fuck) doubles down on Black Helium’s psychedelic leanings and invites some raucous riffs over for a beer or ten.
Referring to their mission as “‘Motor city heroism meets Sabbathian Space Ritual ego death,” the quartet’s pulse matches revved Detroit engines and Birmingham dirges alike. Throw in a dash of scuzzy CBGB glam and late ’60s downer rock, and you’ve got an outfit that knows how to kick out the jams, motherfucker.
There’s the contagious hedonism of “Love the Drugs…,” which careens on Beck Harvey’s rumbling bass before dissipating into a mid-song narcotic-fueled astral projection. The black magick psych of “Wicked Witch” and “Summer Spells.” Nine minute showstopper “Curtains at the Mausoleum” reveals a band intent to patiently recreate a warm, encompassing ganja buzz. Well, before the ferocious title track closes out the record like a long trudge home with a skull full of bad intentions after last call.
Throughout Primitive Fuck, gang vocals stab memorable choruses into memory like stick ‘n’ poke tats. Drummer Diogo Gomez invokes the devil-may-care percussion and pure rock ‘n’ roll excess battered into drumheads by Bill Ward and Scot Asheton. Slow-burn solos float into consciousness like an acid trip’s first few minutes away from sobriety. But Black Helium aren’t content to create nebulous explorations: these songs swig whiskey, stomp the dance floor into dust, and slam the door shut when a riff’s job is done.
But words are for nerds. Stir up the best kind of trouble by pressing play on Black Helium’s Primitive Fuck below.