Black Fortress of Opium

Stratospherical

by Stephen Haag

19 April 2012

 
cover art

Black Fortress of Opium

Stratospherical

(AFY)
US: 6 Mar 2012
UK: 6 Mar 2012 (import)

Funny, sunny bubblegum pop outfit Black Fortress of Opium begin their sophomore album… oh, who am I kidding, with those genre assignations? With a name like “Black Fortress of Opium”, you know exactly what you’re gonna get: theatrical, doom-laden, swirling art rock with a side order of goth thunderstorms. BFOO is the kind of band, and Stratospherical the kind of album, where the lead single is called, without a trace of irony, “Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry”. “Fata Morgana” is a paean to a lost, arty New York (Warhol, Lennon), infused with a Middle Eastern beat -– it’s a pair of Chuck Taylors disconcertingly peeking out from under a burqa. Elsewhere, “Cherry Blossoms” tinkers with a blues riff but is sunk by Adja the Turkish Queen’s (yup) lonely high school kid diary lyrics: “Engulfed in a blazing inferno / Submerged in a deep blue sea / This loneliness, will it ever end?” Only the out-of-left-field jangle pop (really, this time) drug tune, “Right Around Here”, which feels like a lost ‘90s Buzz Bin clip, and the closing “This Dark Clovd”, with its epic churn that actually captures the moody vibe the band strains to attain everywhere else on Stratospherical, leave any mark.

Stratospherical

Rating:

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Last Gunfighter: Songwriter Guy Clark Passes Away at 74

// Sound Affects

"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.

READ the article