Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Back to the Flood” by Blank Realm from the 2014 album Grassed Inn on Fire Records.
If you are new to Blank Realm, you’re in luck. This out of the box siblings band throws decades of noisy, jangling, experimental rock and roll sound into a blender to get what you see before you. After a handful of full LPs printed and released on CD-Rs over the course of five or six years, Grassed Inn is Blank Realm’s second release for Fire Records. You’ll hear some a little bit of everything in their sound, but when you crank the volume up and stop overanalyzing, all you hear are excellent hooks and melodies stuck together with homemade glue. If it were any other way, it wouldn’t really work. Grassed Inn lead single “Falling Down The Stairs” hits 80s jangle pop headlong with a Doors-worthy synth organ line. But if you want action, “Back To The Flood” is the place to be.
“Back To The Flood” is full throttle from the get go. Crunchy guitars saturated with vintage synth bring the track to near clipping levels of noise before Daniel Spencer’s Ramones-meet-Tame Impala vocals come in. “It feels so good when you light me up” he snarls with a smirk. Meanwhile, the band pound along with no holds barred on a classic 1-4-6-4 chord progression. The track is always just about to blow your speakers - thank god for compression. But the homespun vibes and the raw sugar nature of Blank Realm’s sound are too endearing to critique. “Back To The Flood” is a summertime pop song for the ages, and it makes for one hell of a Song of the Day feature.
Blank Realm have only a few dates scheduled in their native Australia. You can find out if they’ll be coming to the U.S. as soon as they announce it by following their Facebook page. For now, check out a recently released video for “Cleaning Up My Mess”, from their 2013 LP, Go Easy: