Blank Realm

Go Easy

Fire Records

Street: 05.14

Blank Realm = (The Velvet Underground / Black Lips) + (Tame Impala – precision)

Judging by the opening bass line of the first track (“Acting Strange”), I thought Blank Realm was a Swedish hardcore band. But as the shrill, muted guitar and frantic vocals led into a wall of thrashing cymbals, I thought, “Wait, is this supposed to be the Liars?” When the druggy, nautical-sounding “Cleaning Up My Mess” began, though, I knew the album would be more Loaded than it was Liars. Much of the Brisbane four-piece’s shtick on this one sounds very familiar. From the thin, jangly guitars, to the repetitive percussion-and-yelp jam sessions, feedback screeches and sloppy, wailing vocals. Though Go Easy is far from groundbreaking, most of the songs are fun to listen to. Standouts are the aforementioned two, plus “Pendulum Swing,” which is like punk rock Bruce Springsteen—the grating, out-of-place synth buzz almost ruins it, though. Ultimately, I like this record—even if it sounds like I’ve heard it before. –Cody Kirkland