BLAQK AUDIO — Bright Black Heaven
PETE WALSH invites all spelling Nazis and genre critics to have a squiz at this one.
Best known as the BFFs of AFI fame, Jade Puget and Davey Havok have returned their attentions to their little electro lovechild, Blaqk Audio. Bright Black Heaven builds further on the ‘90s house music that formed the foundation of their wittily-titled debut Sexcells. It’s been a fascinatingly diverse journey for the pair: having travelled through punk rock, hard rock, post-hardcore and hybrid-electro rock with AFI, Havok and Puget have a strange knack of putting their fingers in every pie.
Luckily, this pie hasn’t scalded them too terribly. While Blaqk Audio’s take on EDM is a bit dated, their treble-heavy brand of electro is infectious. This combines with a penchant for lyrical ingenuity as on the first album single Faith Healer (“you’re stumbling like the Nazarene… you’re stunning just like a Philistine”) to create one hell of an intriguing album. I was lucky enough to catch them opening for Evanescence earlier this year and while the set was short, it was incredibly sweet. Live performances for electro bands will always be a point of contention, but Blaqk Audio know how to create a stellar show and this shines through the theatrics of their music.
The LP’s jilted love theme plays out well across the numerous keyboard interludes and vigilant attention to percussive breakdowns. Unlike many electro outfits, vocals play an integral role as Havok’s talents allow a musical diversity to run rampant across the 12 tracks that make up the album.
PETE WALSH is an ex-Rave contributor and vagrant writer, a literati, music aficionado and coffee snob.