Local Wire


If the Carter Family had intermarried with the Addams Family, their children might have grown up to start a band called Blanche. The band's stripped-down sound is based on the early country style that folkies call Old Time music, but Blanche puts its own art-rock spin on the genre to come up with a familiar but slightly skewed sound that has no convenient pigeonhole -- although its cover of Gun Club's "Jack on Fire" may provide a clue. Minimal alt-country? Gothic folk? Belladonna-infused country blues? A little of each, but with enough downbeat humor to keep things from getting too grim, even though the songs deal primarily with sickness, suicide, stalking, homelessness and heartache. They complement the world-weary vocals of leaders Dan and Tracee Mae Miller with a subtle Appalachian drone produced by a mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation accented by jolting bursts of unexpected post-punk noise.