Benjamin John Power’s sophomore solo release as Blanck Mass is a big leap forward from his self-titled debut from 2011. That record contained extended atmospheric compositions that weren’t as fully realized as his main gig (Fuck Buttons). It certainly wasn’t a bad album, but it did serve better as mood music, a film score, or music you put on while resting. No wonder the 2012 Olympics came calling and used “Sundowner” throughout various ceremonies during the games. With this year’s Dumb Flesh, Power releases one of the best albums of the year and establishes himself as a solo artist to be reckoned with.
Blaring first single “Dead Format” serves as the perfect introduction to the deafening electronic madness that would follow throughout the album’s 53-minute running time. Unsurprisingly, the song revisits the familiar brazen style and the towering heights of the best Fuck Buttons tracks. The opening swooning synths are shockingly abrasive and loud but complimented perfectly with a pounding tribal-like beat, intricately-layered synth melodies, and a harrowing vocal sample that is chopped up in a blender and regurgitated on top to produce a splatter pattern worth revisiting. “Atrophies” finds Power experimenting with a more beat-driven formula to break up the potential monotony of the sea of noise. On “Cruel Sport” he finds a balance between both worlds, and the result is an anthemic and mind-numbing composition that builds and recedes over 8+ minutes. There are no missteps on Dumb Flesh, and Power’s brilliant sophomore release just fuels anticipation for the next Fuck Button’s release.