Blank Realm - Grassed Inn (LP + CD)
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Everything on Grassed Inn carries a sunny disposition, but that seems to come from a thematic case of denial. Displaying the glimmering surfaces of muted interiors, lines of resignation and dysfunction echo under instrumental jaunts that feel like brave-faced smiles in public. On ‘Bell Tower’ keys waterfall over Daniel Spencer’s sad acceptance that “I’m just your plaything.” Meanwhile, on ‘Baby I Can’t Reach You on the Phone’, some of the sunniest guitars on the record cover his awkward mutters of “Maybe I should leave you two alone.” In different clothes, these songs would blatantly be ones of wrenching discontent. Instead, the jovial backings lead the mind astray as Blank Realm party wildly through the pain, desperately scrubbing at the darkness with trebly blares and jilted synths.