Black Magic Six – ‘Brutal Blues’ Album Review

‘Brutal Blues’ – the band could hardly have picked a more appropriate title for this brilliant album that combines swampy delta Blues, rockabilly, punk and garage rock into something uniquely brilliant. Hailing from Finland, Black magic Six are, in fact, a duo although they make enough noise to equal a band with at least twice as many members. Three albums into their career, not to mention several hundred live shows honing their skills, and the diabolical dup have unleashed the album of their career, a greasy, beer-sodden thrill ride that sounds like ZZ Top being violated by Lemmy in a bar in the Deep South.

Opening with a stripped-down intro that sounds like a chain gang winding their weary way to work, it is on ‘I hate people’ that J-Tan’s furious, paint-stripping guitar work is unleashed like the hounds of hell, the sound an amped up amalgam of Iggy Pop, The Ramones and Monster Magent supercharged with devilishly strong skunk and sent spinning out into the night brutalised and confused. ‘61/49 Clarksdale’ keeps that Monster Magnet / stoner rock feel, that guitars swathed in so much grease only a life-time in swarfega will remove it whilst Lew Siffer’s primal percussion is bone dry and hard hitting on the hell-fire-powered chorus. The brilliantly titled ‘beaver killer’ is a subtle, dance with the devil at the crossroads, the band coming on like a nitrous-powered Robert Johnson at a Voodoo festival, all tribal drums and blistering guitar and then you’re into the slinky groove of ‘Ghoul’ which pulls a similar trick of being devilishly danceable and as potent as bathtub vodka drunk from a corroded metal tankard.

Whenever we get material by new bands we’re forced to try to think of what it is that makes a band special in some way. Is their material unerringly unique? Is the musicianship special? Or is it, as it in this case, that the band simply has that indefinable spark that marks out what they do as a different experience altogether. Black magic Six are clearly and unarguably playing this music first and foremost for themselves, and it is that love, that passion, that utterly unfettered sense of musical freedom that makes this such a thrilling experience. Dirty, unstoppable and filled with demonic joy ‘Homerun’ is a horn-soaked slice of brilliance whilst ‘total Dunkelheit’ is a sweat-soaked stomp that is guaranteed to make everyone move but the dead. It doesn’t stop there, either as next comes the hilarious rockabilly insanity of ‘the biggest ass in town’, which comes on like a drunken guitarist at a hoedown before crashing to halt in time for the punk-charged ‘Turning gold’ which has a guitar tone Mudhoney would kill for and a tune that suggests what would happen if Lemmy had slept with Dolly Parton and left their progeny in the care of Jack White and Mark Arm. ‘TPTPATFOTHMPT2’ is the sound of too much whiskey imbibed at four in the morning set to Monster Magnet at their most stripped-down and then the title track rounds out this sub-thirty minute blast of blues-inspired genius with a track that nods to Tom Waits and Barry Adamson with its primal blues and sparse guitar.

Best played at earth shaking volume Black Magic Six have created a gutsy, bluesy album that throws blistering rock ‘n’ roll, slinky stoner rock and feral punk into the mix for an album that feels brilliantly alive for its entire run time. Soulful, gritty and utterly addictive, no one with a pulse will be able to resist the band’s primal jams. ‘Brutal Blues’ is real rock ‘n’ roll: defiant, humorous and played with passion by musicians in thrall to their own wonderful sound – don’t miss out.

Did we give Black Magic Six a fair review? Find out for yourself by checking out their reverbnation page.

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