Maybe enigmatic scuzz-pop-pioneer Blank Dogs has got it right. While his lo-fi contemporary, Wavves, uses his public persona to chastise the Portuguese while on uppers, Blank Dogs has stayed nearly hidden, content to let rumors that he wears only gauze during live performances play themselves out.

Not that he isn't probably insane, but he's using that energy to produce a prolific body of work, releasing your-new-favorite-band eps for various micro labels at a rapid clip. And with minimal fanfare. Pop this fussy and intimate is going to spark listener imaginations and Blank Dogs understands the pleasure of a listener-built musical relationship, one where the audience creates their own press photos.

“Another Language” is a good place to start. The song introduces Blank Dogs' hazy universe, a hermetic bedroom that could be recognized in any era as the home of a music obsessive. Are those guitars from the 80's or the 60's? Is he doing a David Bowie thing or a David Byrne thing? It also serves up the best wordless hook, a slightly off beat, slightly out of key sing-a-long that wanders back and forth across the line between off the cuff genius and a meticulously researched thesis on pop deconstruction.

“Goes by” is another diamond in the ruff. New Wave synths and echo-y surf guitars catch Blank Dogs' queasy pessimism in an uncomfortable place. The lyrics depict twenty something boredom but the chorus is so joyous you get the feeling Blank Dogs is someone who can't stay sad for long, not when a melody can make him smile this broadly.

The joy he gets from making music is never clearer than on my favorite track, “Heat & Depression,” an arpeggio-heavy ode to sticky hot summer nights. Snyths woosh carefree as Blank Dogs harmonizes with himself, just hanging out. The song recalls an aimless starry sky, but the space you are most drawn to is the one in between his ears, a melting pot for bygone pop who's only ambition is to share a profound love for a good tune.

Black Dogs plays The Lo Fi Performance Gallery tonight, April 17th
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