Greensboro’s Black Haüs is an Afropunk Force

Omar Obregon-Cuebas
Staff Writer

A_E, 4_4, black haus the band, Omar_s article, PC_ Courtesy of Black Haus.jpg

PC: Courtesy of Black Haüs

It’s Saturday night, the room is filled with a mixture of sweat, excitement and lust. Everyone is eagerly waiting for the next band to start their set, and finish the night with a bang. The band takes hold of the set as if it was their God-given destiny. Adamantly, Jeffrey Tulliz Jr. names every band member with his silky voice: “We got Collin Nesbitt on bass, Sid Pennix on drums, Taylor Williams on guitar and Patrick Young rapping.”

A moment of silence ensues before the band collectively scream “Black Haüs!” From there, they begin with their fiery “Eyes Glued to the Pavement,” which starts slowly with lyrics “Are you out there? Do you feel me?” and crescendos into a mosh-inducing fury with “I don’t want you to look at my face/ All you’ll find is desperation.” You can’t help but to feverishly rock your head back and forth as Young and Tulliz Jr. clash with their contrasting vocals.

While Tulliz Jr. provides a Frank Ocean-esque voice, Young offers a deep and raspy element that elevates their smooth feeling sound to a harsh enraged punk.

Pennix and Nesbitt lead and enforce the backbone of the band with the former on drums and the latter on bass. Williams is aptly nicknamed the “Guitarist from Heaven” due to his special quality that brings the band together.

Being an all-black punk band is no small feat for the members. “We wanted to showcase how diverse black people can be,” said drummer and midi board wizard Pennix.

At first glance, you would not think the dynamic duo of Young and Tulliz Jr. would work. Young demanded a fast-paced and rebellious punk style, while Tulliz Jr. led with his slow auto-tune enhanced vocals. However, they proved to be a beautiful dialectic that synthesizes songs such as “Eyes Glued to the Pavement” and “Electron.”

“I joined the band because I wanted to have a musical outlet with other black creatives that isn’t just rap,” Young said.

Alongside their mishmash of genres, Black Haüs shows glimpses of every emotion in their sound, but a few stand out the most: anger, sadness and regret. Their melancholy banger “Electron” starts with the somber line “I hate myself for this/ My apologies, I’ve been f*cking up/ Causing all these problems/ I know that I hurt ya/ I know that I don’t deserve ya.”

Young belts his anguish with lines like “I was scared to share my heart and now I’m open/ Vulnerabilities got me broken now/ Broken mirrors losing all security/ Absence hurts, you know I wasn’t ready/ Insecurities and obsession always on edge, my heart’s pounding now/ It’s pounding out of my chest.”

“I look forward to not only expressing the tragedy of life, but also the experience of being a black creative and what it means to have the world against you,” Nesbitt said. “We want to make experimental pieces and challenge the traditional songwriting formats.”

And it is true, Black Haüs is brave with every note they play. Black Haüs shows that they are not afraid to be emotional and that their masculinity is always in flux. Their creativity oozes in their song structure. In “Both Eyes Glued to the Pavement” and “Electron,” they have bared their soul and show the multifaceted nature of human existence with their multilayer song structure. Both songs feature prominent shifts in tone and sound.

“Electron” certainly defies being boxed into a single genre as it goes through a metamorphosis from a slow-burning sad ballad of regret into a heart-wrenching punk rock track. Black Haüs evokes the power of Orphean tragedy of regret. Listening to their songs both live and recorded can make their music take the mundane and anxiety-ridden aspects of life and transform it into an emotional catharsis that is felt by all who enjoy their art.

Trailblazing a path in the Greensboro music scene, Black Haüs are Prometheus and we are the benefactors of fire. They add a never-before-seen element to the local music scene, and they are here to stay. Unlike Prometheus, they won’t be chained for their rebellion, rather they may be catapulted to heights never known by Greensboro musicians.

If you want to support or find out when they are playing next, then follow them on Instagram @blackhausband.

Categories: A & E, Arts & Entertainment, Reviews

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