The Black Heart Procession + Solbakken

The Black Heart Procession + Solbakken

In the Fishtank


Knowing some friends of mine, I’d have to fear for my life if I ever gave the Black Heart Procession a bad review. Luckily, Black Heart’s In the Fishtank collaboration with Dutch prog-rockers Solbakken is awesome enough to keep my head off the chopping block for the time being. In the world of my CD collection, BHP’s only appearance is Amore del Tropico, their sweaty, black and red foray into south-of-the-border rhythms. From what I understand, it’s quite a departure from their earlier work, but it’s a logical point for this one-off project to spring from.

The opener “Voiture En Rouge” sounds like a virtual rewrite of Tropico‘s “Broken World,” with the vocal spotlight shown on a Swiss lady who sings in French. “Dog Song” and “Nervous Persian” lope along, dirge-like featuring piano and violin as the respective, mournful pall bearers. Both are depressing and brilliant.

I’ve never heard Solbakken before, but their influence on “Taste of You and Me” and “Things Go on With Mistakes” is unmistakable. There’s an actual jaunt to the gait of the piano in the former. Coupled with warp speed skittering drums, it’s as close to happy as Black Heart is likely to get. The latter sinks back down into the mire, but instead of going quietly, suffers through a maelstrom of guitar wash, errant drum beats and a ten minute stretch of head butting Wall of Bass. It’s enough to make me wonder exactly what Black Heart Procession’s “sound” is, and how it is better than this.

As far as one-off projects go, this is the best one I’ve heard since Motorpsycho + Jaga Jazzist Horns (also an In the Fishtank release). It’s really more Black Heart’s show, but Solbakken add enough fingerprints to spark curiosity in me to seek out their solo material.

Good news! I just got word that those fine folks I call my friends are letting me keep my fingers. At least until I do the write up for BHP’s DVD…


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Violinist Gregory Harrington
    Violinist Gregory Harrington

    Renowned violinist Gregory Harrington unveils how he chose elegant covers on his new album Without You.

  • Sparks

    A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (BMG). Review by Generoso Fierro.

  • Lucifer Star Machine
    Lucifer Star Machine

    Devil’s Breath (Sign Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Let My Daughter Go
    Let My Daughter Go

    The latest from Creston Mapes, “Let My Daughter Go” delivers everything his dedicated disciples have come to expect – inspiring heroes and despicable villains, along with plenty of action and non-stop tension.

  • Iron City Houserockers
    Iron City Houserockers

    Have a Good Time, But Get Out Alive (Cleveland International). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Carleen Williams
    Carleen Williams

    “Home Stretch”. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Dennis and Lois
    Dennis and Lois

    Music superfans Lois and Dennis have been attending concerts and befriending musicians since the ’70s. The couple shares their obsessive music fandom with the rest of the world in this quirky, charming documentary.

  • COVID Diary #3
    COVID Diary #3

    Forced isolation, too much coffee and a stack of records result in a batch of attention deficit record reviews.

  • Beach Slang
    Beach Slang

    The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City (Bridge Nine Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Monks Road Social
    Monks Road Social

    Humanism (Monk’s Road Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives