Blank Realm - Grassed Inn - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Blank Realm - Grassed Inn

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2014-01-13

Blank Realm seem pretty set for 2014. They have gone straight for the jugular with new release Grassed Inn, the follow up to 2012’s Go Easy.

Rambunctious and overzealous guitars punctuated with loose jams confirm their infectious ability to throw out a jaunty pop song, lovingly lauded on opener ‘Back to the Flood’.  It’s a really stark but brutal opening and the Spencer siblings, aided by Luke Walsh, complement each other with an uncanny ease.

‘Falling Down the Stairs’ is Byrds-like but with a blackened heart. Daniel Spencer’s nasally, tetchy delivery and his sister’s stabby synth-patterns take centre-stage in a more leftfield mix of psych melodies.

‘Grassed Inn’ has shades of another Aussie Band, Lower Plenty. It's laidback in approach but demonstrating a clever knack of bringing a multitude of sounds together very easily but arranged in such a way that makes them taut and inspiring to listen to.

‘Bulldozer love’ is shot through with unhinged space-rock wig-outs, the noise of early shoegaze and a perchance for the dream pop and polish of Wye Oak.  It’s an astonishing eight-plus minutes long and is the core of the album.

When it comes to an end and your ears have receded back to normality, they strip everything back to threadbare synths with the twee plinky-plonk of ‘Violet Delivery’.  And while they do plinky-plonk, they also have jingle-jangle on ‘Baby Closes the Door’. Spencer’s vacant and echoing holler sounds restless and agitated, recalling Tom Verlaine at times.

Throughout Grassed Inn, there is a distinct line of lo-fi, mixed with Spencer’s Bob Dylan drawl. He reaches out longingly to a lost love on ‘Reach You on the Phone’, saddened by the harrowing, doomladen music which surrounds him.

Blank Realm certainly have craft and guile in their locker and have put out a decent showing for the cold winter months ahead.

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