Power-violence can be a tough jar of pickles to open. With it’s impenetrable song structures, dissonant melodies, and broken telephone production; the genre feels almost set up loose the audience. Blank Side’s EP ‘Etheric’ does a pretty good job making the more challenging elements of the music accessible.
Right out of the gates ‘Etheric’ hits you with 3 ragers, each under 30 seconds, each managing to remain distinct in spite their brevity. On the fourth track ‘Detonate’, Blank Side mix the spazzier elements of their sound with a more traditional 80s hardcore; making for a nice bridge to power-violence newcomers. They close with their longest track ‘Organic’, at over 3 minutes it mashing up all the elements of their sound; from a singalong outro, 90s punk sung verses, to screaming blast beat seizures. The whole 6 song EP is over in under 7 minutes.
The band describes themselves as ‘thrash pop’, which seems a bit imprecise to me. Looking over their trajectory, it seems like they started out a hardcore band in the same vein as Kid Dynamite or Gorilla Biscuits, and took a long march towards Crossed Out and Charles Bronson, while retaining all their melodic elements. They do a great job of making 20 second songs memorable and catchy.
It’s hard to say if ‘Etheric’ is a genre classic or just a good gateway drug. Either way, all the cool kids are doing it: