Blank Dogs Land and Fixed

Blank Dogs Land and Fixed
Mike Sniper's productivity over the last three years has resulted in countless releases, to the point where if he needed a break he would have earned the right somewhere back in 2008. As 2010 comes to a close, the first Blank Dogs LP of the year drops, but not before two EPs and a bunch of reissues. Land and Fixed isn't "just another" slab of wax to add to the heap. Considered Sniper's first real attempt to break out of his murky home recordings, his third proper full-length lacks the hiss-y static that plagued/graced his previous work. But he's hardly compromised his integrity; Land and Fixed still sounds like a bedroom artist working hard at being a bedroom artist. The biggest divergence, however, comes in Sniper's musical scope, which up until now was centred mostly upon a post-punk diet of angular, one-string riffs, clapping rhythms and dour vocals. These are still very present, as the anthemic "Blurred Tonight" and the spiralling "Goes By" prove. But the more fascinating aspect of the album is hearing him move from his guitar towards more synthesized compositions. "Insides," for instance, has a Berlin-period Bowie groove to it, but "Elevens" is the greatest departure, calling upon oscillating synths and sound effects for an intergalactic disco joint, said to be the basis of an upcoming twelve-inch. If he hadn't already shown such a fondness for Factory Records, this kind of transition might not be so welcome, but considering he's often pegged as a student of Joy Division, well, why not try a little bit of New Order for a change? (Captured Tracks)