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Album Review
Under and Under

Under and Under
by Blank Dogs

In The Red

Review Date
20th July 2009
Reviewed by
Paul Gallagher

Mike Sniper is an absolute machine. Not only is he the man behind the label Captured Tracks (with releases from fuzz pop leaders Woods, Gary War and Dum Dum Girls), he is also the former guitarist of the band DC Snipers, and the current co-participant of the group the Mayfair Set and most importantly - at least in this review anyway - the heart and soul of Brooklyn lo-fi recording project Blank Dogs. And what releases he has had! Vinyl after vinyl has poured out of indie labels across the United States in such a short space of time that not even the most ardent of fans can hope to keep up.

But there are two or three recent releases that have proved necessary for one's aural well being. Following the release of "On Two Sides" (Troubleman Unlimited, 2008) and last year's splendid EP "The Fields" (Woodsist, 2008) Blank Dogs are back with "Under and Under" - a brand new minimalist un-tamed pop fuzz animal of an album. Of course from Wavves to Vivian Girls to Ducktails to Mika Miko even, there is a whole lot of this music out there currently - but Blank Dogs is one of the essential best. And "Under and Under" is an apt token of the wider discography pouring out from the man with the Blank Dogs moniker.

The stand out tracks are openers "No Compass" and "L Machine", followed by "Setting Fire To Your House", "Blue Lights", "Tin Birds" and "Slowing Down" and others - and rather than launching into a analysis of each track, I'll fill you in on the common formula in them all. A steady tempo of discordant reverb and fuzz guitar set against a blend of drum machine and percussion loops all fronted by an amateur-aesthetic vocals. It's a mess of music and an overflowing bathroom sink of addled benders, Brooklyn-cool colour and spilled hangover cure from 80s pop icons and punk ethics past.

If the sun is streaming and you are feeling it on your face by way of a winter's walk through suburbs yonder, take the time to listen - you will not regret it.

Honest bro.

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