Top 20 Releases of 2017: No.17 – BLONDnewHALF – Clean

blondnewhalf - clean

CD, Dan-Doh Records, 2017

The energy in this new album by Kobe-based garage/postpunk band BLONDnewHALF just doesn’t let up over the course of these sixteen tracks and 44 minutes. From the opening In Order to the closing Nie, it barrels forward driven by frenetic, babbling bass lines and drums that just couldn’t give a fuck, crisscrossed by psychotic slashes of discordant guitar, narrated via a series of unintelligable barks and yaps.

While the energy is relentless, the explosive pace isn’t uniform though, and especially towards the end of the album BLONDnewHALF switch gears, channeling their intensity into the tense krautpunk of Who, the mantric R40 and the scratchy, edgy and wilfully awkward 30nen.

The production on the album is constantly rasping like tortured metal along the recording equipment’s upper limits, like a bus screaming around a speedway track, scraping the crash barriers on every turn and tearing the heads off any waveforms that poke their heads out the windows. Whether you think this is a good thing or bad, it’s nevertheless utterly consistent with the amped-up, bug-eyed, buccaneering way BLONDnewHALF seem to approach everything else about Clean. This album is badass.

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