Blank Realm – Deja What? (LP reissue) / Go Easy (7″ single)

Deja photoFor those dangerously hooked on Blank Realm’s still brilliant coming of age Go Easy opus – thanks to Fire Records’ wider release of the 2012 LP earlier this year – the cravings for more have become somewhat unbearable.  Whilst the next studio album is being tantalisingly lined-up for unveiling later this year, here comes two near-simultaneous fixes to quench the thirst for Blank Realm’s elixir in the interim.

Blank Realm - Deja What?

Blank Realm – Deja What?

The main event is a vinyl/download-only reissue of 2010’s Deja What?, the immediate full-length predecessor to Go Easy.  Those expecting a straightforward warm-up prequel to the hyper-melodic Go Easy might be in for a relative shock though; as Deja What? is a markedly less instant and more oblique affair.  The record finds the foursome crawling out of the primordial noise-rock soup of even earlier DIY and small imprint releases, growing new limbs in the process but still learning to stretch the muscles required to suitably transpose sonic rawness into addictive songcraft.  Hence the album is an intriguing mix of loose elemental sketches and more fleshed-out firmer possibilities.

The former camp largely plays to the quartet’s initial audience base, with the psyche-rock miasma of “Trained Creep,” the ghostly tolling “Belvedere” and the gnarly distorted “My Nativity” tilted primarily towards Not Not Fun label acolytes.  The latter camp of tracks find the Go Easy sensibilities poking through more promisingly.  Hence, nascent Royal Trux tendencies are opened-up on “Full Moon Door,” the scuzzy yet shimmering “Soul’s Illusion” mines into the rich seams of mid-‘80s Sonic Youth, the distended-funk boogie of “Crystal Ball” develops the band’s groove-riding streak and the extended synth vs. guitar duelling of “Logan’s Hands” maps out the route for the epic set-pieces within Go Easy.  Whilst ultimately Deja What? is likely to only appeal to the most committed of Blank Realm fans, at least this reissue allows the option of an interesting history lesson without any bank-breaking eBay/Discogs trawling.

Blank Realm - Go Easy 7"

Blank Realm – Go Easy 7″

Launched ostensibly in tandem with the Deja reissue is a newly-cut 7” single, featuring the title-track from Go Easy backed by the previously unreleased “Cannibal Walk.”  Whilst the coiling “Go Easy” works well as the closing comedown finale on its parent album, it’s perhaps the least compelling choice to be a standalone ambassador.  However, the fantastic flipside makes this single worth its admission price alone.  Taking the insistent hook-embedding highs of the best Go Easy LP cuts – with muscular guitar licks, sprawling synth layers and an animalistic beat underpinning a sneering unrelenting vocal – “Cannibal Walk” is a sublime ‘should-have-been-an-album-track’ nugget.

Although together these two stop-gap releases may hold back some of the hunger for Blank Realm material, they also make expectations for the forthcoming new brand new album grow even higher.

Fire Records