A seamlessly orchestrated dose of electronic aural energy designed to tear down grief, consumerism and denial: Sacred Bones signee Blanck Mass is set to share his fourth album Animated Violence Mild on 16th August. The solo project of Scotland-based musician Benjamin John Power (Fuck Buttons), Blanck Mass has been to the abyss and back whilst creating his new seven track record, inviting listeners to plummet with him in to uncharted sound territories.
“We throw ourselves out of our own garden. We poison ourselves to the edges of an endless sleep” muses Power, as he talks about society’s need to consume. It’s this willingness to aid in self-destruction that permeates Animated Violence Mild, as it flits between despair and redemption at an alarming pace. The album opens with a brief ‘Intro’, featuring a voice recording of an excited, fast-speaking fan which slowly fades out as overwhelming synths announce the arrival of the first full track: ‘Death Drop’. Pulverizing beats and dramatic, intense synths repeat in urgent loops. 2 minutes in to this 7 minute epic, blistering, loud-yet-quiet vocals break through, adding another desolate layer to this marathon of a track.
‘House Vs. House’ bleeds in afterwards; rising and falling at unexpected, luscious intervals. It’s another 7 minute offering laced with various synth textures and piston-like percussion that plummets listeners further in to Blanck Mass’ whirlpool of noise. ‘Hush Money’ follows, meshing up-tempo electronics, unusual vocal samples and more relentless percussion. Despite its namesake, ‘Love Is A Parasite’ is anything but a draining listen. The track’s fourth minute sounds surprisingly grand and cinematic, before more blistering vocals breakthrough again in the fifth.
The track with the shortest duration is ‘Creature/West Fuqua’. Unnerving synths lead in to unexpected, grand sounding keys and brief, elevating vocal samples, before the stunning ‘No Dice’ breaks in. It’s an introvert’s struggle with denial made audible, with symbolic looping synth patterns mimicking the stages of denial, it plays out over six minutes in mesmerizing fashion – and is definitely one of the record’s strongest tracks.
Listeners leave Blanck Mass’s twisted garden of sound the same way they entered it: wrestling with overwhelming electronics on ‘Wings Of Hate’. It’s a soaring, uncontrollable, wild end to a record that says so much with minimum lyrical input. Animated Violence Mild is a dark, intuitive exploration of “[the] serpent of consumerism which now coils back upon us” – and it’s well worth risking a bite of Power’s perfectly poisoned apple.
Blanck Mass’ Animated Violence Mild is released via Sacred Bones on 16th August.
Blanck Mass 2019 UK Tour Dates
Aug 19 – London, UK – Rough Trade East (instore @ 7pm)
Aug 20 – Brighton, UK – Resident (instore @ 6:30pm)
Aug 22 – Bristol, UK – Rough Trade (instore @ 6:30pm)
Nov 23 – Glasgow, UK – The Art School
Nov 24 – Newcastle, UK – The Cluny
Nov 25 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds
Nov 26 – London, UK – Scala
Nov 28 – Brighton, UK – The Haunt
Dec 01 – Leeds, UK – Headrow House
Dec 02 – Manchester, UK – YES
Dec 03 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
Dec 05 – Worcester, UK – The Marrs Bar
Dec 06 – Plymouth, UK – The Underground