BAND OF THE WEEK: BLACK TABS

18 Dec

Black Tabs have been on the radar of the apes at least since early in 2012, when someone far smarter than ourselves hipped us to the video for “Can’t Fool Me,” an unforgettable, unassailable assault of buzz-saw guitar and vocal venom with all the subtly of a ball-peen hammer leveled against your temple. Something about the song – its snarl, swagger and simplicity – forced it to be lodged permanently in our brain, where it took its place as an imagined, alternate-dimension echo of an apocryphal B-side, a low-torqued reversal of the Pentagram classic, “Forever My Queen.” Or it may have just been the use of the word, “queen.”

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The latest from Black Tabs, however, bring to mind something more pentecostal than pentagram-esque – that something being in general the complete (and completely excellent) four-song recording now and forever known as, “Live at the ND,” and in particular, the lead-off attack, “Jesus Is A Dyin’ Bed Maker.” And though there are but three points (guitar, drums and howl) to the sigil of Black Tabs, each point is sharp enough to draw blood.

There is a part of us that would love to philosophize over and pontificate on the importance and/or enduring influence of someone like sad-master General Patton, not to mention the transferal of that importance and/or enduring influence via the work of certain musically sophisticated, flare-wearing, guitar-wielding, quarter-calling adherents – perhaps both “born into fire, fear, darkness, and death.”

But there is another part of us that simply wants to turn the volume knob to “unconscionable” and listen for the exact moment when our brain begins to melt.

Ultimately, there will be time for both. Today, we only recommend Black Tabs, high volume and a flame-retardant soul.

Check out Black Tabs music at their Bandcamp page.

“Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones

Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones

In their hip-pockets as a thing that’s done,

And start their silent swinging, one by one.”

Jean Toomer, “Reapers”

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