WL//WH Review: The Dashing New LP “Glass Blocks” by OPTIC SINK [Feel It Records]


Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Well! When I read in the EPK that “The trio makes minimalist post-punk that feels very reminiscent of lost 80s tape-only shit that now gets reissued as a lost gem…the subtle dancey nature of all the songs will sure to get punks shaking their butts, and in their brood”, I instantly turned up the volume as I gave a sly smile before pressing play and Ι believe that was the best choice for this album, yeah!

Memphis, Tennesseee-based Optic Sink consists of Natalie Hoffmann (also a member of Garage Punk all-girl combo Nots), Ben Bauermeister, and Keith Cooper, and their sophomore album “Glass Blocks” was released September 8 through Ohio‘s DIY label Feel It Records. As I listened to their new album, every track made me think “wow”, “nice”, “this one rocks”, and “so groovy”. It’s an amazing album. After the last song, I left the record on repeat to let it alone tell me what to write. Let’s watch the first video of the album for the opening track “Modelesque” which somehow sets the tone for the rest of the tracks.

Optic Sink are like coming from the ’80s when the new wave modernities were getting severely involved with the punk-oriented feel. Motorik basslines on minimal beats and with vocals that narrated the new world and the singers’ own anxiety, with a lot of politicized words in a flamboyant style that often strays from the norm and chanting about the romantic concerns of their time – damn, we are living the same things again only that our times are way more dystopic now.

All things Optic Sink are minimal post-punk, synth punk, and new wave, all given by synthesizers, a bass, and a singer whose voice and style are reminiscent of the early days of Siouxsie, Poly Styrene, Anja Huwe, and the bizarreness of Elisabeth Fraser. But don’t think that you will hear Natalie Hoffmann here playing a role in the mirror, but a singer who is coming directly from the roots and the style that she loves…these seeds are infinite. Musically, I heard far-away songs like “Summertime Rain”, and I heard a lovely Batcave-style rendition of LiLiPUT‘s “A Silver Key Can Open An Iron Lock, Somewhere”, and also the minimal synth-pop orbit of “Kaleidoscope”.

This is an absolutely amazing album, by all means, also regarding the sound and the so-targeted production that doesn’t actually copy the old but truly brings it all back with a bit more care and the required dust all over. You can have it in all formats (Digital, Vinyl, CD, Cassette) and I suggest you listen to it loud, please (without headphones)!!!

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Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Written by Loud Cities’ Mike

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