Album #37: Blankenberge – More

  • Released: 2019
  • Origin: Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • Label: Self-released
  • Best Track: Go

Last week, I was writing about how Japanese shoegaze/dream-pop has its own distinct sound. So too does Russian, come to think of it. Spearheaded by the likes of Aerofall and the wonderful Pinkshinyultrablast, the genre’s Eastern European offerings are highly sonic and layered but not usually very abrasive, often favouring electronics to guitars, with delicate female vocals buried within the melee.

It also appears to emanate around Saint Petersburg, and from that city come Blankenberge. Taking their name from a town in Belgium, the five-piece band released their second album More last year, following up on 2017’s Radiogaze.

The record starts with the Sigur Ros-esque ‘Islands’, and from then on the crescendo of dreamy, ethereal noise rarely lets up. Tracks blend into each other somewhat, with the exception of the standout ‘Go’ – a glorious three-minute din of driving guitars, cooing vocals and vicious drums.

While it may not be the most original album I’ve ever heard, More is a record to lose yourself in, dovetailing nicely into what is a growing regional scene.

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