Blank Realm

Blank Realm

Grassed Inn

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(Fire Records)

Brisbane's Blank Realm boast a work rate that would terrify most bands. Seven years after their debut long player (and only ten months after the release of well-received predecessor Go Easy), Grassed Inn is album number nine, notwithstanding they are prolific live performers too.

Grassed Inn finds them edging towards the mainstream, albeit all things are relative. It sounds roughly like what Dylan might have accomplished circa 1979 if instead of finding God he had put Television, Neu! and Richard Hell on heavy rotation and hired a space synth maestro to freestyle all over his next record.

Grassed Inn is so ramshackle in places that it might have been recorded in someone's dustbin, but this somehow combines with the constant shifts in style and repetitive choruses to keep demanding attention.

The pace slows to a Lynchian crawl on Bell Tower, where Daniel Spencer drawls about being outside the room of the love interest/victim over sinister tremolo guitars. The showpiece is Bulldozer Love, an aptly described eight-minute krautrock heavy-loader which moves from light-footed low gears through to a frenzy of guitar fuzz and squalling organs. Not to be missed.

Steven Vass