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Blanche Blanche Blanche – “Wink With Both Eyes” – [Night People]

Thurston Hunger   3/7/2015   12-inch, A Library

Sarah Smith and Zach Phillips, when I reviewed
their Feeding Tube 7″ I definitely tasted the
80’s but had no idea. If there is a sweeter,
dorkier 80’s release in this milennium, I’ll
watch every episode of Miami Vice from start
to finish. While the Blanchers don’t totally
drop the (Jan) Hammer on drum machines, the
assortment of tidy time-keeping units and the
stacks of clean synth, presets locked and
loaded. Sarah’s vocals make Suzanne Vega
sound like a valley girl cheerleader, Sarah’s
steady even when the lyrics might not quite
be the digital hostess cupcake that these
sounds used to accompany. And even the
sounds take some pretty tweaky breaks (does
Zach own a Steely Dan record or two?) Catch
the short guitar solos on the title track,
and “Mercantile Rugs” Or some of the robo-faux
steel drum fills on “With or Without You”
(*not* a cover, I promise). The lyrics
are really the thing that drops the cognitive
dissonance into the VH1 aromaa, c’mon “That’s
Siberia” and “Jason’s List”, from the latter
“age 3 he’s nice and bright
age 9 he’s lighting fires alight
age 10 he shot a girl
he’s everything in the world”
I really like when Zach chimes in with some
vocals, it feels like a tag-team powerpoint
presentation, as on “The Fake” and “Fireworks”
I’m kinda fascinated by this productive duo,
the music challenges on the cheeziness and the
lyrics challenge on the cranium. Check ’em out.

-Thurston Hunger

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