To share but a few. The first album was a remixed collection of the band’s early tracks, a melting pot of influences as they set out to inhabit their own space. Now with ‘ABYSS’ the band are very much defining what that space is.
Once again, the album was produced by Jun Morino in Osaka, and mixed in London by Wayne Adams (Pet Brick, Green Lung, Cold In Berlin) and is an uncompromising beast of a record. In fact ‘Abyss’ is the perfect title, a dark looming void that summons the listener…dive in if you dare.
Recorded under a full moon over three intense days, the album has the ‘off the leash’ abandon of ‘Fun House’ era ‘Stooges’ and is marked by a fat dose of doom meets slowed down hardcore punk; filled with loud, ultra distorted guitar, and yet, a surprising amount of melody as well.
In fact, Yuko has said that the band’s name is a combination of Black Sabbath and Stereolab, well here on ‘Abyss’ is where that strange mix begins to make musical sense.
The band haven’t lost their love of lo-fi or ‘Riot Grrrl’ attitude. The guitars are loud and heavily gnarled to the point of chaos.
Vocals go from shoegaze melodic to hardcore screams (in fact rarely has a vocalist in this genre screamed so musically as Yuko does) and underneath all this, Chia batters the skins, all rolling and tumbling thunder amidst the riffs.
Yes there is a smattering of ‘Sabbathy Wizarding’ of course, but submerged within dark, deep fuzz and punk rock crank and grind.
In truth the vibe is closer to both the arty heaviness of early Boris, and the sweet savagery of My Bloody Valentine, than any kind of ‘doom’ tropes. And in many ways, Blacklab are continuing the long tradition of Japanese experimental noise that bands like Melt Banana and Bordeoms exemplify. Ultimately though, it’s a sound that is undoubtedly BlackLab’s own.
So over 8 tracks, clocking in at around 42 mins, you get the current Blacklab world view. ‘Abyss’ is an album that is as raw and alive as it gets.
It’s refreshingly free of artifice, and it doesn’t arse around. What more can you want. Set for release on May 8th 2020, like all NHS releases, there will be a limited edition transparent green and black vinyl version with a free download, and it will also be available on CD and Digital. Pre-order now:
Physical – https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/blacklab-abyss
Digital – https://smarturl.it/BlacklabAbyss
BlackLab are also set to play their show ever outside of Japan at Desert Festival in London on Friday 1st May.