Slope Records announces the debut 7-inch by newly formed Phoenix punk band The Blankz. The band will release a series of nine 7-inches culminating in a full length compilation of all the releases at the end of this year. The first single features the title track “White Baby” backed with “Sissy Glue.” Available formats will include CD, 7-inch vinyl, cassette and digital download.
The band delivers infectious synth-driven punk rock with new wave elements and wears their influences like a badge of honor: The Ramones, Devo, The Spits. The Blankz are Tommy Blank on vocals, Jaime Blank on guitar, Nikki Blank (The Darts) on synthesizer, Andy Blank on bass and Johnny Blank on drums.
What started as a casual writing project between band founders Tommy and Jaime quickly became something more as they realized they had real chemistry and shared a vision for the band. ‘”Jaime and I agreed from the start that we want this to be a fun band with snotty lyrics,” says Tommy Blank. “There are passing mentions of drugs and partying (though I am 13 years sober) and a few non-P.C. lyrics, but The Blankz have no interest in political rants or agendas.”
Cris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets) produced the first two sessions, which include their debut as well as the upcoming single featuring “(I Just Want To) Slam!” backed with “Baby’s Turning Blue.” The title track from the first record in the series, “White Baby” is about Tommy Blank. He was in fact a ‘white baby’ adopted by Mexican parents in 1969. Cultural dissonance permeated his youth. He recounts “I constantly found myself navigating situations that were either culturally Mexican or “white” and having to figure out where I belonged in that dynamic. The punk scene provided a home-away-from-home for me. It was a place to feel ‘normal’ since the scene is all freaks, deviants and social misfits.”
Jack Rabid at Big Takeover Magazine wrote about the songs, opining
“This Phoenix five formed last year, but woah, they sound like terrific, long lost California punks! This is great 1977 stuff, like L.A.’s Skulls and Zeroes, S.F.’s Crime and Negative Trend, or eventual Orange County crashers Social Distortion, Crowd, and CH3. (Femme Nikki Blank’s sci-fi organ on “White Baby” and the quicker, X-esque flipside, “Sissy Glue,” is more like Akron’s Devo.) Having local 38-year Meat Puppets bassist/legend Cris Kirkwood produce cements that feeling; he gets the band’s rockin’, riffin’ spirit that drives Jamie Blank’s Ramones-y guitars through your skull. (Note how all five members’ surnames went “Blank.”) Best, it’s these tunes that grab you, especially “White Baby”—as insanely catchy as Social Distortion’s “1945,” No Alternative’s “Johnny Got His Gun,” and The Controllers’ “Electric Church.” Lastly, Tommy Blank’s exuberant vocals, and lyrics’ weighing his modern racial identity—a white kid raised by Mexicans—show smarts. It’s a complete package; bring on the fall LP.”
Album artwork was rendered by Dana Armstrong with layout by Mike Fisher and band photos were shot by longtime friend, Joe Cultice. Visit the band on Facebook, Bandcamp and Instagram.