Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Regional Beat: Blaka Watra 

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.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation