PREMIERE: “No New York?” Blank Square Say “No San Francisco” on Castle Face Debut “Animal I”

The SF punks channel no-wave aggression.

San Francisco’s Blank Square come from San Francisco, which I say twice because it bears repeating. And it bears repeating because from the opening howls of Animal I, their debut full-length on Castle Face, the shuddering block of sound that they produce sounds like it comes not from the Bay Area in 2017 but the no-waving Lower East Side of the late 1970s. Or, not from the LES itself, but from a kind of imagined version of the scene; it’s what you’d sound like if you read descriptions of Suicide but didn’t realize that punk was as much a mindset as a sound.

That’s a long and somewhat convoluted way of saying that Animal I feels trapped between a few things: between the despite-itself melodicism of punk and the brick-wall terror of no-wave, between guitar-tickling solos and blacked-out verses, between the speedy drive of Black Flag at their earliest and the contemporary spazziness of, say, Pill.

All of which makes Animal I a righteous fit for Castle Face, and a bracing way to begin your President’s Day. Give it a listen below.

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