Blank Realm: Illegals In Heaven

Aussie psych rockers work up a subtle storm.

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Comprising three siblings including vocalist Sarah Spencer and her brother, Daniel, Blank Realm recall the cleverly chaotic squall of Sonic Youth and Royal Trux.

That they are produced by ambient artist Lawrence English, however, points to hidden realms of introspection beneath their live-friendly wigouts. They sprawl across a range of styles, from bluesy ballads to avant noise, sometimes all at once.

After the instinctual blast of opener No Views, River Of Longing chimes like a one-off power pop hit circa 1980, while Costume Drama’s well-curved riffing and splashes of fretboard frenzy recall the pop/anti-pop paradox of Wire.

Blank Realm thrash expertly between raucousness and beauty, culminating in the tremulous Gold. This really is a very fine album indeed.

Classic Rock 214: New albums A-L

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.