Blank Realm: Grassed In

A Brisbane quartet comprised of three siblings and a friend, Blank Realm have created their third album after 2010’s Deja What and 2012’s Go Easy. They are part of the underground rock movement that has been flourishing Down Under recently, and the group has been experimenting with their sound to include darker themes and psychedelic melodies.

The opening track, “Back To The Flood,” foreshadows the rest of the release. It is energetic, synth-y, and sung in a nasally voice reminiscent of a younger, sprightlier and less politically active Bob Dylan. “Falling Down The Stairs” was recorded live on a party boat off the coast of Australia, which explains its carefree attitude and jumpiness while asking the fundamental question, “Who’s falling down the stairs tonight?” Lead vocalist David Spencer demonstrates his true singing ability on “Violet Delivery,” where his nasally voice transforms into a rock star-ready growl and back. “Reach You On The Phone” closes the album on a strangely repetitive note, as the chorus consists of only the lyrics “Baby, I can reach you on the phone,” over and over again.

Blank Realm’s Grassed Inn is a psychedelic music trip, caused by its use of synths, high-pitched voices and unconventional lyrics. Many of the songs feature yelping male and female vocals, mixed in such a way that they certainly sound out of the ordinary, but sometimes bordering on whiny. Unfortunately, several tracks do eventually start blurring together, as they all feature similar instruments and structures. Despite all of this, the record is intrinsically mystifying, and shows how Australia may soon become the epicenter of a musical movement.

In A Word: Effervescent