Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The best moments in Blk Jks songs are the ones that make you feel as if you're running for your life, scared all shitless and just needing one more gear, whether it's there or it's not there. You will find out if it's there sooner or later and when you do, well, there's the answer you were looking for. It's in these moments when we have flashbacks, picture the walls of explosions gunning down on us from the rear, ready to open wide and just swallow us whole, lighting us up before turning the lights out for good. The flashbacks are vivid and mostly haunting and they never seem to know when to finally leave you alone again. It's as if there is some intuitive belief that someone or something harmful has you in their sights and you're not going to get away that easily. No sir. This is happening. This is a matter of grave concern and to think that we were just sitting here or standing here, doing nothing about this impending disaster at our heels. Oh what fools we've been. There are whooooos and chilling lines of howling blackness, that are soft enough, but still get into and under your sleeves and cause the skin to spot with scared bumps the same way that happens when you turn at the back of an empty basement to get up the steps as fast as you can, unsure or just not positive (no matter the huge unlikelihood of it being true) that you're alone down there. The four members of Blk Jks, all from South Africa, build and build upon these very translatable and easily shared feelings of tricky, pantomimed and foggy imagination getting carried away with itself and making mountains out of molehills. Mostly sung in English and sometimes in their native tongue, Blk Jks are able to blend these many, many shades and colors into a stampeding jam party that makes you want to do some end of the world dirty dancing on a dark dance floor, in a bad part of town, in a city you've never seen, in a country you've never been to and just roll the dice to see how the sweatiness and the frequencies of the evening decide that they want to act out later on. It's a sound that represents a night that could stretch on for a week and a day, taking us by the scruff of the neck and just yanking us into hurricanes, fistfights, passionate love sprawls, blindfolds and a firing squad if we're unlucky. We could die or we could have the ultimate experience of unbridled exploration and an expansion of the mind that would be freewheeling and dangerous.
BLK JKS Official Site
Secretly Canadian Records