Love You Too
CD review: 'The Blanks Love You Too' by The Blanks Group brings style, substance to second album By Chris Rietz | For the Lansing State Journal In the year since their CD debut, the below-low-budget 'The Blanks Kiss You On The Mouth,' they've morphed into the self-proclaimed 'world's greatest (albeit it's only) rockity roll band,' and blossomed into surprisingly ambitious songsmiths. It was clear from 'Mouth' that The Blanks were graduates of the no-frills post-punk school of rock, but in 'Love You Too' they've taken the next step: harnessing all that energy into fueling songs, with all the elements of pop songcraft intact - witty lyrics, hummable melodies and - most of all - strong hooks. But if rock were still Mods vs. Rockers - and a British Invasion current runs strongly through 'Love You Too' - the Blanks would fall into the latter camp, pointedly distinguishing themselves from those posturing, overcultivated Mods. They love the energy rock releases in it's primordial state and, youthful zealots that they are, they pursue it like the Holy Grail. 'Love You Too' was recorded at Jim Diamond's proudly analog Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, a good fit - it's becoming a Mecca for artists who want nothing to do with that shiny, digital sound. If Dan Nordheim's guitar technique were any more primitive, he wouldn't be able to play at all - but he has an uncanny knack for inventing just the right power riff, and in achieving a different tone on every track. Lead singer James Peterson seems way more confident on 'Love You Too,' not only in riff-rockers like the Kinks- flavored 'Evening Time' or the roaring 'Hey Little Blues,' but in the neo-rockabilly venture 'Home,' balladry in the poignant 'Married Young,' even a screamed narration on the foreboding 'Ain't It Time.' The Blanks' wedding of uncouth energy with serious, pop-informed songwriting isn't new, but in an era in which style rules and substance is in shorter supply, it almost seems that way.