It’s the end of the year and I’m going out with guns blazing. Actually, I just wanted you to know that Tigr Tigr remains intact and is still focused on pop culture matters minus any unrelated and unwanted gun analogies. Regardless, Black Wail hails from Jersey City, New Jersey and they trade in psychedelic heaviness as can be absorbed on their lead off track, “Chromium Homes” which can be heard above.
Black Wail’s bio is posted below for your edification:
Jersey City,NJ has always had an underdog complex. Dwarfed in size by New York City to the east, and in rock and roll relevance by Asbury Park to the south, its home to a supportive tight-knit culture and community of musicians and artists that play and create twice as hard to stand out. Its this creative underground that birthed Black Wail in 2014.
As the drummer of Jersey City’s Thomas Francis Takes His Chances, Michael Tarlazzi had long appreciated bassist Susan Lutins fluid and aggressive bass playing. A veteran of a major label deal, Susans chops and presence stood out in Jersey City. Yet even as he played in that band, Tarlazzi harbored dreams of fronting his own band, recording home demos where he sang and played all the instruments. The songs he wrote were different than anything else happening musically in Jersey City, a unique blend of 70s hard rock, psychedelia, punk rock and metal. After his other band imploded, he decided to make his dream a reality. Susan was the only person he considered to play bass, and Black Wail was born. With Tarlazzi on vocals and guitar and Lutin on bass, the groundwork was laid to bring his demos to life. They were joined by a second guitarist, a drummer and keyboardist Bram Teitelman, whod toured with Mastodon and Clutch in stoner rockers Murder 1, and the lineup was fleshed out.
Black Wail, or JCs supergroup, as a local promoter dubbed them, began playing out in mid-2014. Drawing from 70s influences including Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the bands Jersey roots are also on display. One can hear Monster Magnets lysergic stoner rock, the campy punk energy of Misfits and the guitar heroics of Zakk Wylde among their psychedelia, doom and hooky hard rock. The band, rounded out by drummer Ed Chaurreun in 2015, quickly found themselves playing around the New York region.
Described by 666 Days of Metal author Chip McCabe as music thats played in a bar that has a strip club neighboring it on one side, a pot dispensary on the other and not-so-secret hallways that lead to both, Black Wails second EP, All You Can Eat, was released in 2016. And while it was recorded by Tarlazzi, Grammy-winning producer John Seymour (Bouncing Souls, Alice in Chains) mixed the EP. Continuing to play New York and New Jersey, they also found themselves in regular rotation at Seton Hall’s legendary metal station WSOU and being reviewed by the likes of MetalSucks, who said the EP ranged from “achingly melancholy to High on Fire heavy, sometimes in the same song.” When it came time to record the follow-up, this time, the band went back to Seymour, and the result is Chromium Homes.
“My vision for this band is dark weirdness,” Tarlazzi says of Black Wail. “That being said, this is our best record yet.” The title track, referring to poisonous waste from abandoned industrial sites in Jersey City, is an upbeat song featuring southern rock guitar harmonies. They, a staple of the bands live set, is captured on record for the first time. Thee Ghost is equal parts Megadeth and Pink Floyd, highlighted by ethereal three-part harmonies and a tempo change midway through. Theres also a doomy version of The Beatles Norwegian Wood on the EP. When asked to sum up Chromium Homes, Tarlazzi simply calls it “a super fun record from a super find site.”