Blank Realm

Go Easy

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

One of the most accessible releases in Blank Realm's prolific catalog -- and not just because Fire Records reissued it for wide release six months after it was initially issued on Bedroom Suck -- Go Easy feels like the culmination of all the noisy cassettes and CD-Rs the band made in the five years before it. Some of that noise has been stripped away -- it doesn't feel like a coincidence that there's a song called "Cleaning Up My Mess" -- and what remains has been focused and harnessed, but not to the point where things ever feel too predictable; the aptly named "Pendulum Swing" oscillates between tempered verses and guitar freakouts for nearly nine minutes. Relatively speaking, these may be some of the band's tightest songs, yet the joy of hanging out and jamming resonates throughout Go Easy and especially on songs such as the garagey "Working on Love." There's an easygoing looseness to many of the album's best moments, particularly the aforementioned "Cleaning Up My Mess," a shuffling, seven-minute strut that has the DNA of the Velvet Underground and Pavement in its riffs. Like fellow Antipodean indie rockers Popstrangers, Blank Realm revel in putting their spin on classic sounds that are local and global, at times recalling Flying Nun's woolliest moments and at others incorporating farther-flung influences like Sonic Youth (whose dense riffs and deadpan vocals populate "Acting Strange" and "The Crackle, Pt. 1") and Television (whose bruised punk balladry informs the title track and "Growing Inside") into their music. At times, it's tempting to wonder if Blank Realm would sound even better if they focused more, but Go Easy is so likable that it would be a shame to sacrifice any of the band's charm in a quest for perfection.

blue highlight denotes track pick