Returning with their third album in as many years, Belgium's Black Box Revelation have teamed up with Alain Johannes (Them Crooked Vultures touring guitarist and serial Josh Homme co-conspirator) for My Perception, an album which is clearly indebted to the rock and psychedelia reminiscent of the late 1960's and 1970's music scenes, both in the UK and America. Having said that, the album, although it has a 'retro' vibe, is not an out and out rehash of the era.
What My Perception is, is an album of two halves. You get the upbeat, Rolling Stones-esque stomps of My Perception (the title track) and Rattle My Heart. The songs come close to sounding almost like New York Dolls in places, with the careless, drawling vocals and the almost lo-fi production sound. There is also the brilliant, almost Stooges like Madhouse; only a very brave band would record something that sounds this close to the very much unbeatable sound made by Iggy Pop's original band of lunatics, but here Black Box Revelation pull it off to great effect. Bitter is another great song in this vein; it's assured beat and brilliantly crunchy guitars make it a highlight of the album.
The other half of the album is the more jam orientated material, where the pure skill of these musicians is displayed to great effect. White Unicorns is a very laid back, psychedelic track, with shades of Hendrix in it. 2 Young Boys and the album's closing blast My Girl again, are more experimental than a lot of the rest of the album, with extended instrumental sections. It is on these songs where it really hits home that, for a two piece band, Black Box Revelation really do make a hell of a lot of noise. On the downside, thanks to these more jam-laden songs, the second half of the album does begin to drag slightly.
It is clear from the opening notes of High on a Wire that My Perception is going to be an interesting album for those with even a passing interest in rock music. There's scuzzy, full throttle blues romps sitting comfortably next to more quiet moments. My Perception is an album that sits just on the edge of chaos, providing a brilliant musical thrill ride, almost from start to finish. Sure, it could benefit from a little trimming here and there, but this album, and by extension this band, is well worth a listen.