Upon first listen, it’s immediately obvious where BNLX’s obsessions and influences lie. From the overdriven feedback fuzz that scores the record, to the epic, post-punk spirit that courses throughout, Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen are an easy reference point. But while many modern DIY projects can plug in and produce squalling reverb and angst-y vocals, in most cases the results reek of posturing and shallow imitation. BNLX, dare I say, transcend time. They’ve created a debut LP that sounds late 1980s while remaining immediate, a record with the grit, chops and integrity to nod to their heroes while bravely blazing their own path.
The history of BNLX runs deep. After gaining notoriety on the national stage with his band Polara, as well as co-founding and running influential indie label Susstones, Ed Ackerson turned his focus to producing records. Based at his Flowers Studio recording facility in Minneapolis, he’s produced and engineered records for a huge and diverse range of artists including The Replacements, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Jayhawks. Ed has now picked up his guitar again and returned to live rock action with his new band BNLX, joined by his co-frontperson/wife Ashley Ackerson on bass and David Jarnstrom on drums.
While their debut LP encompasses a variey of genres, BNLX doesn’t worry about fitting into a certain mold, content to let the music speak for itself. “We’re more melodic than some of our noisier peers, and we’re more aggressive and punk rock than some indie rock bands,” explains the band. “We also mix lo-fi and hi-fi textures in unusual ways. We have a lot of ideas and influences, and we try go wherever our imaginations take us. Worrying too much about genre can be a deterrent to innovation.”