Black Helium – Primitive Fuck (Review)

Black HeliumBlack Helium are a heavy rock band from the UK and this is their debut album.

Just look at that album cover. What the fuck’s going on there? Crazy.

Anyway, the music of Black Helium can be roughly summed up as psychedelic progressive stoner rock, or at least something along those lines. In many ways it’s just as insane as the album cover. I’ll shamelessly pilfer from the promo blurb at this point – “Influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Amon Düül II and The Stooges; Primitive Fuck channels an era when psychedelic rock stood for mind expanding eclecticism, and hip shaking sonic hedonism in equal measure, moving from motor city heroism, to shapeless Kosmische ambient ego-death via space ritual riff worship”. Yep, I’d say this is a pretty decent description of Black Helium.

Powered by riffs and a confident demeanour, this is quite a diverse collection of tracks; each song not only has its own distinct personality, but some of the tracks you could even imagine as being put together by different bands.

Black Helium clearly have many interests; a good helping of these involve rocking the fuck out, but there’s more than just that going on here. There’s depth and nuance aplenty too, as the band explore the psychedelic depths of what they are capable of. Various moods, feelings, paces, and styles are toyed with across the 44 minutes of material on this album, and throughout it all the band show that they’re very able and talented when it comes to the kind of psychedelic/progressive journey that they wow the listener with.

The songs are expansive and wide-ranging, with depth and substance deftly weaved into every part of them. With a diverse range of influences liberally taken from the 60s onward, in many ways this album sounds like the quintessential rock album that came out many decades ago, in an era of rampant experimentation and fuelled by mind-altering substances. This album embodies this in many ways, dragging this time period kicking and screaming into 2018 and adding a few contemporary splashes of colour to it here and there along the way.

A comprehensive, very well-written, and multifaceted album, Primitive Fuck may be misleadingly titled in some ways, but in others it somehow suits the music and the band. Either way, there’s so much potential for this to be a cult hit that it hurts. Get in on the action first, and get to know Black Helium.

Very highly recommended.

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