Bad Dream (self-released)
This Akron singer made his debut nearly 10 years ago and then took four years to follow it up with 2008's Better Man. Now, after another long gap, during which Black has toured and acted (he stars in the Capitol One Viking commercials), he's back with Bad Dream. The album opens with the snarling "Waiting," a tune with some wicked fretwork that alternately recalls Living Color and Faith No More. The album stays on the heavy side of things with the Soundgarden-inspired title track and the lurching "Last Call." With its bluesy intro, "420" is a little more nuanced and "Dope Show" has a good groove to it too. Those tracks suggest these guys don't always have to come out swinging for the proverbial fences to be effective. Black is also at work on a documentary about the making of the record, which is currently available on iTunes and will be released on compact disc later this summer with the documentary as an accompanying bonus disc.
Elijah Black performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 12, at the Z-Plex in Streetsboro.