Album Reviews

Blanck Mass – Blanck Mass

on May 31, 2011, 7:59am
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As 50 percent of Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power produces massive, grinding drones of electronic, indecipherable calamity. As 100 percent of Blanck Mass, Power more or less does more of the same. While it may not be as primal as Street Horrrsing, or as concise as Tarot Sport, Blanck Mass’s self-titled debut packs the same sort of punch, and that punch is one that goes directly to the gut.

Off the bat, “Sifted Gold” pulses and shimmers like a magic river, sparse murmurs and background moans filtering through to the top from time to time. “Sundowner” latches on to the opening track’s tail, the ethereal, squiggling synth roar coming out angelic and huge. As Power’s heavily reverbed vocals splice into the wall of sound, the thing reaches a critical mass before fading into the squiggles. “Chernobyl” reads like a tragic soundtrack piece, heavy bass and sky-high synths pulsing in turn. “Raw Deal” follows though on that and takes a whimsical turn, the wartime drama becoming an “E.T.” on a bicycle soar.

The clunking, xylophonic synths of “Sub Serious” and the organ-like rushes of “Land Disasters” are subtle, expansive, and pulsing, continuing on the promised general bigness of the album. Where Fuck Buttons would squelch and scream, Blanck Mass serenely glides into sight, a sky-covering flock comprised of every species of bird at once. Even the brief, abrasively titled “Fuckers” revels in a sort of tubular bell, new age symphonic quality.

The 13-minute-long “What You Know” features some of the lone unsettling moments, bubbling synths panning to and from each headphone, minor synth squalls shuddering. “Weakling Flier” closes things out, the first moments where the wall of sound falters, occasionally warbling and swooning, but even then finding its footing amid faraway birdcalls and water rushes. This is, in many ways, the softer side of Fuck Buttons, but certainly not the weaker side.

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