The Songs We Can't Escape

It's as though Blank Dogs are writing themes for Scooby-Doo scripts that haven't been written or animated yet, in which the ghouls and "special guest stars" (Sarah Palin, Kim Kardashian, Ariel Pink) are little more than hallucinations Scoob and Shaggy experience after scarfing down a batch of tainted Scooby Snacks. Oooooooo!

"Love Comes Close"

The following trio of reference points shouldn't co-exist well, together: Right Said Fred's Euro-cheese amour, New Order's new romantic sick-synth-stares, and Beat Happening's twee-ass adolescence fetishizing. Yet—somehow—Philly-based Wesley Eisold combines these disparate universes into something blithely, fetchingly modern. Just think: If John Hughes were still alive and a Breakfast Club sequel were even a vague possibility, "Love Comes Close" could easily anchor the soundtrack. If only.

"This Is Why"

"This Is Why" feels big enough to break through a sports dome without breaking a flop sweat, with its radiating waves of goodwill and ethereal and mildly psychedelic pop-populism. It's the kind of anthem that makes you believe that love will prevail in the face of unrest and evil and bullshit and everything else. Will it become an underground hit? No, of course not.


Oh, yeah. Brian Gibson's blare-bass scares up clawing, distorted clouds; Brian Chippendale's drums slam with seasoned restraint and virtuoso inventiveness. Both halves slowly tornado together, over these seven-plus minutes, into a corkscrew vortex that suggests an especially vicious, especially intense avalanche. Lightning Bolt are back.

"Clap for the Killers"

Tom Morello won't back down in his never-ending crusade to stick it to the man! And neither will that guy from the Coup! And you know this because Boots Riley raps in a lazy drawl and Morello still hews to that old Rage Against the Machine dictum that none of his whizz-bang-wwwwwwwwaaa guitar effects were created by a computer! Still, y'know, if "Killers" inspires just one kid to read The Wretched of the Earth, etc.