The latest album from Brisbane’s Blank Realm sounds so different from their other releases, it almost feels like a debut from a whole new band. Go Easy is anthemic and direct, and with a bit of Flying Nun influence coming through, but it still has the grizzly, wild streak of old.
The attempt to sweep up their chaos into a more controlled environment results in songs that have great hooks and immediate force, but the shaggy demeanor refuses to budge. They’re at their best when they run free and the two astonishing standouts here are also the album’s longest songs: Cleaning Up My Mess is a gentle, slacker-rock ear-worm that slowly wriggles its way into your head, while Pendulum Swing is an invigorating rush of undulating garage rock that warrants full volume and raised fists. Elsewhere, Working On Love has an Eddy Current Suppression Ring swagger, Growing Inside is a hypnotic, druggy spiral down into drudgery and The Crackle Part 2 caters for those wanting a return to the more experimental, psychedelic side of the band.
If the first song’s lyric “Think I’ve been acting kind of strange” is a nod to the strange ways of their past work, then the closing title track points towards an easy, breezy direction forward for the band. But you wouldn’t want Blank Realm to go too easy on us. With this latest release, they get the balance just right.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Pendulum Swing
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Sugar Mouth DAVID KILGOUR, Hypnotised PONY FACE
In A Word: Rousing