Blank Dogs | Collected By Itself 2006-2009

Captured Tracks (2011)
By REYAN ALI  |  May 18, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

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Mystique is a powerful tool, as Mike Sniper knows well, since it helped get Blank Dogs, his bedroom-project-turned-band, a healthy amount of press. Early on, the elusive Sniper avoided giving interviews, or revealing his face in press shots, or even doing any shows. He's since come into the light, but Collected by Itself: 2006–2009 assembles tracks from singles, compilations, an EP, and other items from his shadowiest days. The recording quality of the 27-song collection varies from the cruddy and ugly to the reasonably clean, but the sum feels like a transmission from a basement catacomb where an alien is trying to invent post-punk in a world without Unknown Pleasures. Sniper constructs a doomed and dense environment from limited means: drum machines chopping away, fidgeting guitar melodies, and voices indistinguishably echoing in the distance. Since his forte isn't reliable songwriting or a varied tonal palette (much of Collected blends into a lo-fi blur), he succeeds or fails on the basis of mood. Mystique isn't enough to make this collection a necessity, but it's a good primer on what makes his world compelling.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, CD reviews, post-punk,  More more >
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