Review: Blank Realm – Go Easy
Published on February 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
This Brisbane quartet have performed with the legendary likes of Damo Suzuki, Kurt Vile, Wild Flag and The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster, and that’s exactly the kind of interesting fact that could idly be shoehorned into the first paragraph of any article about them.
Anyway, Go Easy is pretty rocking stuff, sufficiently dripping with fuzzy, druggy and just-a-wee-bit-sleazy vibes that vindicate those who’ve compared them to Royal Trux. “Acting Strange” even momentarily echoes Primus’s theme tune for South Park as it storms psych-punkily along like Ty Segall at his own particular best, or a turbo-charged Liars. This, though, is equipped with madder, rantier vocals and a perhaps even greater capacity for explosiveness – and furthermore it somehow segues seamlessly into the sublimely laid-back strut of “Cleaning Up My Mess”, those yelping speak-sing vocals once again working a treat.
“Cleaning Up My Mess” is one of the songs of the year so far, a good-natured and vaguely surfy guitar thing with Tame Impala-like applications of washy psych effects cropping up sporadically. The seven-minute running time is perhaps a tad unnecessary, but its Ambulance-Ltd-reminding-of appeal is entitled to take its time. We then get the dark ’60s swagger of “Growing Inside”, with its deceptively swaggering confessional of “Someone told me I was dignified / I thought they lied / I thought they lied”, while “Pendulum Swing” is the kind of energised, hypnotically sun-kissed fuzz stomp that will certainly stand them in good stead, and other such non-committal journalistic clichés.
There’s a touch of the Dylans about lyrics such as (the admittedly more Bobby Gillespie-ishly delivered) “I was smoking in the passenger seat / I was listening to the radio / And I’ll never play the songs I like / So I learn to just let it go” on the scuzzy title track, which also channels elements of Jimmy Hendrix and first-two-albums Velvet Underground. Blank Realm may not be ready to take their place at anyone’s pantheon of greats, there’s plenty to admire about their addled, frazzled sound. Harness the best bits of it and there’s no telling how far they can go*.
(* Sorry, we did it again.)
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Go Easy will be released on 4th March through Fire Records. For more information, please visit soundcloud.com/blank-realm