BLK JKS "Lakeside"

BLK JKS "Lakeside"
Like Dark Meat, Johannesburg’s BLK JKS have a lot of people in Austin getting keyed up over what’s to come later on this year when they let loose their debut album. If they’re at all familiar, then maybe you’ve seen them on the cover of the latest issue of Fader, which is a telltale sign that they’re already cooler than we know.

It’s funny how relevant and educated this four-piece sound next to an act like Vampire Weekend, who use similar African influences, though from an obvious outsider perspective. At the same time, it feels a little embarrassing mentioning them in the same breath as a group of Ivy Leaguers, since they’ve probably been doing this all their lives — they sure sound like they were born to do it.

I can’t say I agree that they’re "dub metal,” as Fader so daringly calls them, but first single "Lakeside” certainly isn’t straightforward by any means. On the surface it’s a smattering of brooding rock’n’roll, with electric riffs that roll off front-man Linda Buthelezi’s fingers like he’s sculpting with melting butter. Off and on, it morphs into short-lived ska bridges, before the awe-inspiring kit work of Tsepang Ramoba schools us on how rock drums should sound. And then the calming sound of rain falls while vocal harmonies soothe us in a fade out to maximise the notion that it is over. It all feels beautifully subdued; I can’t imagine what these guys would be like if they actually were "dub metal.”

Download "Lakeside”

BLK JKS "Lakeside"