Black Helicopter - Don’t Fuck With The Apocalypse (Ecstatic Peace!)

Perhaps if they focused a little less on the golden days, or East Prussian offensives, they might just have something worth listening to

Released Jun 30th, 2010 via Ecstatic Peace! / By Richard Kemp
Black Helicopter - Don’t Fuck With The Apocalypse (Ecstatic Peace!) From the first grimy chord strike, it’s quite obvious that this is going to be a rock album. Like most rock and roll records though, you can’t help but immediately react with a resounding sigh of “Really? Another uninspiring rock record? Are you…are you guys serious?” and yet Black Helicopter seem to come right in with oodles of intrigue on their first track. ‘Invasion of Prussia’ quietly builds to an early explosion, lamenting on the plight of Soviet soldiers during the second East Prussian offensive. They load on effect after effect with guitar and drums providing a burly backing as singer Tim Shea empathises lyrically, whilst also seemingly calling out orders, as if at war himself:

‘The summer will burn your skin ‘til it’s raw…’
‘Don’t question the path!’

Shea crows with a certain grungy ache that would have you forgiven for thinking the ghost of Biffy Clyro-before they-went-a-bit-rubbish had come for a visit. As soon as the fascination arrives though, it very quickly leaves, taking a back seat in favour of the mundane. The Boston lads take an untimely turn for the downhill, resting on middle of the road rock with needlessly nostalgic ‘Golden Days’ and barely-moving ‘Copout’. ‘Record Player’ initially seems quite a jaunty number with Eric Baird cracking out some merry guitar melody, but then Shea unveils his wistful longing for yet more good old days with LPs and tape decks and promptly blunders over the whole affair.

There’s something already quite straight edge-sounding about a band named Black Helicopter – as if someone had been reading up on the armed forces and just thought it a pretty cool name. It therefore doesn’t really surprise that they end up swaying so carefully along the sweet line of safety. There are a few pleasant surprises in the album with quiet-loud rock action in ‘Class Action’ and some eerie containment noises in ‘Occupation of Prussia’, but they otherwise don’t tread too far outside the box.

Maybe it’s their subject matter then that makes them so clean-cut, since a title like this, their third instalment on Ecstatic Peace!, should make you jump to all types of fun conclusions. Perhaps if they focused a little less on the golden days or East Prussian offensives and instead honed their craft towards some of today’s troubles, they might just have something worth listening to, something immediate, something that certainly warns people Don’t Fuck With The Apocalypse.