fri 12/07/2024

Album: Black Helium - Um | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Black Helium - Um

Album: Black Helium - Um

Heavy psych trio move things up a gear

'Um': unrestrained amp-worship

“I’ve found another way / I’ve found another Heaven” sings Stuart Gray on the feedback-soaked opening track of Black Helium’s new album, Um. And if that’s what has fed into these psychedelic barbarians’ tunes on their third disc, it’s truly something that he needs to share around.

Um certainly feels like a noticeable step-up when measured against 2020’s The Wholly Other and their debut album, Primitive Fuck, due to both Black Helium’s significantly improved song writing and Wayne Adams’ magical production skills – even if song titles like “Summer of Hair” aren’t of quite the same calibre as “Hippie on a Slab” or “Love the Drugs You Make Me Feel Like I’m On”. However, that really does seem an irrelevance when compared to the spectacular and unrestrained amp-worship on offer.

There may only be five tunes on Um but no-one is going to moan about feeling short-changed here. Not with the over 10-minute heavy psychedelic throb of “Another Heaven” and the soul-stirring quarter of an hour of alternating chest-beating riot and blissed-out decadence of “The Keys to Red Skeleton’s House” that start and end the proceedings. Neither are there likely to be any suggestions of a band stuck at one speed in this head-spinning box of delights. Not when the middle section consists of “I Saw God”, a trance-inducing heavy garage stomp, “Dungeon Head” a spaced-out hallucinatory soundscape and “Summer of Hair” an instrumental trippy motorik groove that is more than enough to get anyone up and shaking whatever they have to offer.

Yet, as spectacular as Um may be when belting out of a neighbour-bothering stereo, it is to be suspected that in the live arena these tunes will form an incendiary tsunami of lysergic rock power that will be more than enough to transport audiences into new dimensions of adrenalin-fuelled joy. And that really will be something to behold.

An incendiary tsunami of lysergic rock power

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters