Land and Fixed
Mike Sniper has become a near mythical figure at this point, shying away from the press, hiding under the hood of his sweatshirt during live gigs, quietly running Brooklyn fixture Captured Tracks, and drenching the songs of his goth-leaning New Wave project Blank Dogs under layers of murk and metallic hiss. But under that hood of his, there’s an acute pop sensibility, a notion accentuated on his band’s second proper full-length. The single, “Northern Islands,” fares especially well under the new focus, coming off as a twisted version of the Go-Betweens at their peppiest. The record is more New Order, less Joy Division, sacrificing some of the demented feel of Under and Under for dancey, squiggly synths, while still sounding subversive and standing out for honing an electro-based sound without copping a lick from Animal Collective, chillwave or whatever other trend bands are chasing these days.