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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews


Blank Realm
Go Easy

Blank Realm's third record, Go Easy, isn't something easily described without using words like messy, chaotic, drunken, eerie or perverted. Write those down on scrap and cut them into squares, then get a long sheet of butcher's paper with the record's 40-minute timeline charted down it's length. Now paste those shitty adjectives where appropriate using the bottle of Clag you left in your childhood wardrobe, and take a good whiff of its contents, because there's little on this record left over from that period of innocence. Even when Blank Realm venture from the dirge-y experimental psych they're known for to a newly found pop sheen, there's a deformed sense of depravity brushing the surface; the blurred, neon-lit image of the album cover proving that on this record, no image of glowing joy is without its sleaze.

From their warped acceptance of distorted reality on explosive opener Acting Strange, right through to the hollow lilt of the finale, Go Easy, Blank Realm definitely have a penchant for getting dark. They stare emptily out of cab windows, recall nightmares and question the fear of death, sinking all those nervous emotions amongst pits of fucked-over guitars and synths. Tracks like Growing Inside and parts one and two of The Crackle carry a genuine sense of horror, while something like Acting Strange comes out of the blocks with an acid-induced shit-eating grin, before becoming overwhelmed by it's own sense of fun.

But the most memorable parts of Go Easy are those where Blank Realm show a sunny disposition. Through seven-minutes of bright, noodling guitars and melodic bass, Cleaning Up My Mess (track of the fucking year) stands as the album's most memorable. Dan Spencer's calls of, "Love, will you clean up my mess again", aren't fed as a polite favour, but with a half-smiling perversion, so there's not really much of a question as to where the mess came from. Later, the eight-minute jam Pendulum Swing carries this same sense of poppy evolution, while Working On Love is as care-free as Blank Realm may ever get. It's those three tracks that have spawned most of the discussion about the 'new' Blank Realm, but there are enough subtleties in these tracks to keep the darker feel of their 2010 record Deja What? in check.

If Go Easy is Blank Realm's party album, then it could only be the kind of party that's littered in shattered glass and broken light bulbs, with your little sister making out with a gatecrasher in the corner. Merging sunny guitar-pop with sluggish psych-adventuring, there's almost always an undercurrent of doubt and fear behind the good times. So while Go Easy may be a pop record by Blank Realm's standards, it's one that leans more towards the seedy than the saccharine.

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Blank Realm


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