For Album Number Two, Title Tracks frontman John Davis (ex-Q and Not U) continues his love affairs with Class of ‘78 power pop—surely the press release accompanying the new In Blank is the first in ages to namecheck both Any Trouble and Stiff Records… and the first to back up that claim. In Blank bounds out of the gate with a fuzzy, buzzy blast of “Shaking Hands” and does not stop for the album’s 32-minute runtime. (Hell, all of Side A would’ve been welcome into the fold of Jake Riviera’s beloved Stiff.) A dark undercurrent runs through these fizzy songs, though: to wit, the pass-aggression of “Light Sleepers (“Somebody said you’re a fool to stand by me. You ought to break away”) and the ominous “Forget the Ghost”, which sounds like When I Was Cruel-era Elvis Costello (“You’ll see the ghost in me has no respect for when you’re standing”). If you’re in a good mood, bop along to the tunes; if you’re feeling low, wallow in the lyric sheet. Something for everyone!
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// Notes from the Road
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