On Two Sides
(2008, Troubleman Unlimited)
Verdict = Oh no! Run! It’s more lo-fi pop! J/k, pull up a seat and stay awhile.
Lo-fi outsider pop is 2008 as far as I’m concerned. It’s a bell I’ve rang about a million times by now and it’s become a pretty lazy tagline. Blank Dogs, a one man bedroom project, is certainly Lo-fi pop and he’s most definitely an outsider, but not of the trendy 2008 kind. First off, while No Age, Time New Viking and the Siltbreeze roster mine punchy punk influences, Blank Dogs finds a little more by way of new wave and The Smiths. Secondly, while the aforementioned trendsetters (and seriously, despite how trendy they are, I still love ‘em to death) produce jagged bits of feed back and occasionally abrasive, scuzzed out soundscapes, On Two Sides turns inward, producing hazy, muted pop gold topped with vocals that seem to be wrapped extensively with audio gauze. I'm kind of painting the record into a corner here because while the majority of the record unfolds in this manner there are still blissed out punk anthems wrapped in barbwire interspersed, granted, the barbs are a little sparser. However, the differences are clear and Blank Dogs is a completely unique project, following no path but its own. On Two Sides is essentially a sugary pop record that has been set out in the sun for too long, warped and melted into a syrup mess that is even more delicious as a result. Troubleman Unlimited has produced a limited run of the album on vinyl and tape so scrape one up while you can, you won’t regret it.
Blank Dogs blog