Blank Realm – Grassed Inn – LP
Brisbane quartet Blank Realm return with their most blistering release to date. ‘Grassed Inn’ expands further the fluorescent pop leanings that shone through last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Go Easy’. The result is an album packed with soaring psych melodies, dark love-stained lyrics and one of the sharpest pop records to emerge from the current Australian underground renaissance.
Having moved on from their more open-ended experimental beginnings, Blank Realm have veered towards songs in the manner of late period Big Star, The Zombies, or Echo and the Bunnymen, all refracted through a grimy basement lens.
Blank Realm comprises of siblings Daniel Spencer (vocals and drums), Sarah Spencer (synth and vocals) and Luke Spencer (bass), with the addition of Luke Walsh on guitar. Constraining the psychedelic wanderings of their previous recordings, they have made a conscious effort to compose their new material within a more orthodox song structure. The new album is much catchier than anything they have previously crafted but lyrically much darker.
The album’s themes encompass obsession, servitude and the obliteration of self through romantic yearning, all of which provide a subversive contrast to the unflinching dynamism that explodes throughout the songs themselves. All tracks were recorded and re-recorded to ensure the vitality of their live show was captured on each take.
Grassed Inn is a startling prospect, one that harnesses the spirit of the critically acclaimed Go Easy and propels it into one of the most exciting experimental pop albums of recent years. A bold statement from one of the hottest Aussie bands today, Grassed Inn perfectly captures the times with its dual celebration of glorious song and individual expression.
“balancing the arty with the party to make for a set of danceable, hook-filled songs that bubble and bloom with an almost biological rampancy, shooting out tendrils of strange, snaking melody in every direction like vines enveloping a ruin.” The Guardian 4*s
“A cracking selection of scuzzy, fuzzy, psych-rock songs that recall Royal Trux and Sonic Youth.” Uncut 8/10
“they produce a nerve-jangling, occasionally fuzzed-out psychedelic stagger… with echo-slathered male and female vocals… yelping and wailing like ghosts haunting a party.” The Wire