Last year Mike Sniper became the king of lo-fi garage by taking the woozy sub (sub) genre to its natural conclusion and producing the super murky ‘Under And Under’. Whereas his peers would shower themselves in reverb, Sniper tried to drown himself in the stuff, often making his vocals inaudible, plain weird and yet somehow mysteriously compelling. ‘Land And Fixed’, then, is the New Yorker coming up for air and has more in common with his more electronic ‘Phrases’ EP. There’s certainly still some water on Sniper’s lungs (he gargles lyrics rather than sings them) but there’s a newfound clarity to his vocals too, which gives Blank Dogs a welcome sense of humanity. Tracks like the synth-heavy ‘Collide’ are therefore allowed to sound like Xiu Xiu decedents, while ‘Another Language’ is not the only track to instrumentally borrow from New Order and, similarly, ‘Longlight’ is just one of a few odes to Joy Division. Perhaps it’s less original than ‘Under And Under’, but it’s no less captivating.

By Danny Canter

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