When you hear about a band of siblings, chances are some freaky, weird images come to mind; and with Blank Realm, you wouldn’t be too far off the mark –just weird in a good sort of way. The Brisbane based band is composed of three siblings and another (who ought to be). Their music is unique and fantastic in that it takes some very enjoyable rock overtones, and adds a nice layer of synthy goodness –creating this sort of noisy mess of fun. Their latest album, Illegals In Heaven, goes for a little bit of a different approach however. For this album, the band seems to level out and tackles an ever more popular sort of sound. Needless to say, they pull it off.
The sunny side of Australia really bleeds through in this beachy, pop album. Blank Realm’s synthy tunes, accompanied by guitar, make for a lovely sun-kissed jam session. This really shines through in tracks such as, “Flowers In Mind.” The instrumentals provide an excellent textured background –simple synth notes to carry the song along and echoing guitar adding a sentimental depth. The vocalist adds a breathy mainline, filling out the song with jaded, beat lines and an uplifting chorus reminding you to, “keep the flowers in mind.” The entire track is like burning out on a beach –at least the view is nice.
Illegals In Heaven manages to really pull off a decent spread of style as well. While the album is perfectly cohesive, great tracks such as, “River Of Longing,” really pull in a different side of the band. The pace is faster, and the group almost sounds like a psychedelic take on punk. The melodies soar and the band carries on in a lively manner. On the other hand, “Gold,” carries a much slower, more soothing sound. This lends to a very well-rounded album. The overall composure is fantastic.
Blank Realm did a clearly impressive job of putting together Illegals In Heaven. This wave of beachy, poppy, rock music that has been breaking through the airwaves now has another album that’s just grand. Blank Realm doesn’t really add much new though –and that makes Illegals In Heaven a bit forgettable. Furthermore, Blank Realm has been around the block and so their style has had time to mature. This beachier tone is arguably a major deviation from some past works. All the parts are there, but the method is all different. Whether this evolution is for better or worse, it is most certainly bad timing. Illegals In Heaven will almost certainly become just another face in the crowd.
It’s hard to not like Blank Realm’s latest addition. Illegals In Heaven offers up a broad spectrum of some synthy rock songs that put you in the best kind of mood for the last days of summer. For those who just can’t get enough sun, Illegals In Heaven is like a postcard from Brisbane that said, “Wish you were here.” While this isn’t some groundbreaking work, it is good nonetheless. Is it a must listen –no. Should you listen to it –probably.