Blankstare Burned and Betrayed

With surprisingly few good punk bands coming out of Toronto these days, it's encouraging to hear from a band like Blankstare. Under the guidance and tutelage of Trigger Happy vocalist and professional shit disturber Alan Nolan, this quartet's nine-track debut disc is a scrappy and unexpectedly mature-sounding effort. Although young in their years, the band, and particularly singer Matt Wesley have a pretty good handle on what it is they’re railing against. In other words, the emotions expressed through the songs sound genuine, not like they've been cobbled together from a bunch of other bands' songs — a crime perpetrated by many young punk bands whose only inspiration comes from what bands on Fat or Dr. Dream say and not real life experience. Expect even better things from these guys in the future. (Independent)