The Luminaire, Kilburn
Right now, on a Halloween that’s fallen on the Sabbath, most London residents are presumably feeling queasy to Saw III, nervously giggling to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or crapping their pants to The Only Way Is Essex. And then there’s the thirty-or-so people who like their psychotic episodes a little more interactive; who’ve braved Kilburn’s trick-or-muggers and are stood facing Mike Sniper and a band of four in dead-eyed, featureless masks that are part Michael Myers/part The Knife at their beakiest.
It’s a shame that there’s only a few of us fearless souls here (so few that in between songs we feel that silently holding our breath is the only appropriate behaviour, much to Sniper’s discomfort who pleads, “Please, somebody say something. I’ll give you a hundred dollars to talk!”), because Blank Dogs are frighteningly good (hur hur) in delivering their murky mix of garage and post punk. With guitars sounding like vocoders, vocals tinged with (not swamped in) reverb and a heap of electronic sequences looping on to mimic the sound of a B-movie alien invasion, there’s also a good amount of maniac disco to the band’s set too. Old tracks from 2009’s ‘Under & Under’ sit next to the more synth-addled highlights from this year’s ‘Land & Fixed’, and we can’t spot the joins, just notice that Blank Dogs sound a lot more like The Cure’s unhinged sibling than we ever realised. Go and see this band, even if Freddy Vs Jason is on FIVER.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 23 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. November 2010