by Katixa Espinoza (@kattidk_)
In the distance of your own home, calamities appear on the news channel that was left running while you were doing everyday chores— cycling almost as if were routine. One wonders in these moments what is considered to be significant experience in today’s public sphere and it’s worth in constantly being engulfed universal suffering and personal trauma. Moments as such are where rational thought intersects existential questions, wondering if there will ever be a silver lining in what is slowly becoming a socio-political apocalypse. In these trying times, desensitization and anger as a response to the uprise of the current presidential administration midterms has become easily accessible yet Landowner’s record Blatant serves as a reminder that through self-awareness, empathy, and passionate aggression, one can unlearn desensitization and act upon on it within personal boundaries.
With an essence of Parquet Courts’ Wide Awake, the intersection where the unconventionality of funk meets post-punk is where Blatant lands with it’s energetic instrumentation. With gruff bass-lines playing double time and drums brimming with urgency, it emulates panic along with an impulsive aggression have become too familiar. Clever and radical, Landowner proves in “Progress Bar,” “Urban Rural Divide,” “Male Architect” and especially in “Moving Again” that there is a constant cycling through entitlement, capitalism and gentrification, “maybe / it’s the cost of living / this neighborhood has somehow changed / since I moved here / or maybe / I can’t afford the rent.”
Landowner’s Dan Shaw lyricism is skillful when manifesting anger through modes of repetition in the chorus to register the severity of the current political state. Shaw’s fluidity and experimentation within post-punk throughout the record mirrors the emotional flux one experiences when engaging with the tragedies of American histories and their continuous manifestation in today’s public sphere as seen in the titular track, “Blatant.” In the spirit of acting upon aggression towards the current American president, “Fake News” is packed with catchy lyrics lingering with cynicism, tragedy, and deviance— navigating the intricacies of “our planets fate is in the hands of a tv star celebrity with fragile male ego / no attention span / and fascist views.”
Blatant reintroduces aggression and candor in a productive manner; allowing one to get down to the nitty-gritty while coming to terms that the -ias and -isms in today’s global justice climate is in fact, blatant. This record packs a punch to traditional forms of post-punk with a fresh twist while simultaneously formulating their nuanced take on the socio-political sphere—— striking us while the iron is still hot.