Church of Insomnia (self-released)
Listening to the third album from noisy indie rockers Blaka Watra, it's hard to imagine that the band began as an acoustic outfit. The wall of sound that this trio produces sounds like something you might expect from My Bloody Valentine or any shoe-gazer act from the '90s. The moody opening track, "Illuminated," starts slow but builds in intensity as the band ratchets up the guitar feedback, and the moaning vocals become louder. It sets the stage for "Tyr," the album's centerpiece. Noisy guitars offset echoing vocals and a pretty good bass groove, turning the track into something epic. Other highlights: "Inside/Out" recalls early PJ Harvey and "High Priestess" features an overload of guitar riffs. There aren't really any good hooks to these songs but the dark textures have a distinctive intensity to them.
Blaka Watra performs with the Rutabega, Bwak Dragon and Uno Lady at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Grog Shop.