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Blank Realm’s last album ‘Go Easy’ was excellent, so it’s nice to see another full-length from these Aussies so soon. They really seem to have pulled out all the stops this time round, too, reining in their psychedelic meanderings to craft some taut and tense power-pop tempered by the scrawl of post-apocalyptic guitar splutter and clunky organ.
The sticker on the front compares them to Royal Trux, which is a clever comparison even if they are somewhat different in terms of sonics. Both appropriate ideas from rock and pop of the ‘70s and ‘80s and repackage it in a stumbling, blown-out bedroom shambles. They don’t go to the same lengths as the ‘Trux did in alienating their listeners, though; in fact this new album is rammed with pop hits from the word go - ‘Back To The Flood’ grabs the very cheesiest ‘80s Billy Idol offcuts and then forces them through a clanking, blown out Heavy Times mincer et voila, this is a tasty burger.
That combination of irresistible pop hooks and purposively rough edges keeps reminding me of The Replacements, a band everyone else seems to like more than I do, but there’s something grimy and sinister and unmistakeably Australian about Blank Realm too, those Dead C-esque trails of utterly broken guitar distortion, that cheeky staccato twang in ‘Bell Tower’...they’ve got a mix of meticulous arrangements and a delivery which oozes don’t-give-a-shit loucheness that I find very hard to resist. Recommended!
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