I think Zach Phillips said it best during our interview with him last year: “We're gonna get you some actual new music and try and play it fast and loose.” He, along with Sarah Smith, make up Blanche Blanche Blanche, and not only do they put out music all the time, but they also playing it faster and looser then other artists might find physically possible. This isn’t my first time hearing from these guys. I really dug their last LP “Wink With Both Eyes,” which is cool because this gives me some context to gauge this new album. I really liked “Wink…” because it was novel and catchy without trying to hard to be either. It wasn’t gimmicky in either direction, which is pretty rare. I figured that album was par for the course, but after listening to “Wooden Ball” the newest release from these guys I realized that these guys were just getting started.
Since a genre doesn’t quite describe these guys I’ve been telling people that these guys sound like what you would get if you threw people recording music off a cliff. There is a desperate rush to a lot of the songs, and it all seems very natural and spontaneous. It makes the whole experience a lot of fun. The average song length is about 1:30, so the song happens, and just as quickly says goodbye. Even though these songs are pretty manic they never feel longer then they need to be which is something I can’t always say about songs even ones with more traditional song structures.
Speaking of song structure, for the most part these guys don’t really follow convention. You might get a phrase repeated, but most of the time there aren’t really choruses. The verses will often vary, and even the tempo and the key change pretty quickly in some of the tracks. Sometimes it’s jarring, but after a few listens you can start to see it works that way.
The album as a whole is pretty consistent. The songs, though not specifically connected, have a great flow that makes the album seem to move even quicker. Sarah delivers the lyrics in her fantastic talk-singing tone, and Zach creates a dizzying array of different piano parts with different sounds that range from electric organ, synthesizer and toy piano. I have to say I liked “Wink With Both Eyes” a bit more, but since I liked that album so much saying it is almost as good as “Wink…” is certainly a compliment.
All this changes and variation seem to go back to the quote I used at the beginning of the article. These guys are not afraid to call it like they see it. If they feel a song needs only 52 seconds and for the tempo to change half way through with the vocals fading in and out then…okay. Do that. Obviously an eye for what’s unique needs to be coupled with talent in the songwriting department. Luckily these guys seem to have both in sufficient quantities. If you’re interested in a “mostly piano driven blast of fast, unique energy (in song form)” then these guys have what you’re looking for. Check out their website to get more of their releases…also FACEBOOK.
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