It’s quite clear upon listening to Balloons Kill Babies debut EP “Leviathan” that this is a band that is in love with music. There is a joy that radiates from the dark soundscapes and it is this joy that makes the EP so engaging as a listener. It is the relaxing factor that gives you the space to exist within it as a fan, the joy the band feels from playing these dark moodgaze songs is the ingredient that will allow for a greater resonance outside the niche instrumental “post” genre that most lazy journalists will place them in. Yes, this is indeed post-rock influenced metal but if you dig deeper you can hear genres outside of that influencing the dynamics pushing the sound to satisfying heights emotionally.
On the surface you can hear how bands like ISIS, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Sigur Ros have shaped the sound and for the most part you’d be 100 per cent spot on but I also hear a lot of non-guitar music washed over the riffs and mellow passages. I’m talking about artists like Bjork, Fever Ray, Fiona Apple, Massive Attack, Portishead, Boards of Canada and Unkle. It’s these non-guitar rock / metal influences that give Balloons Kill Babies a unique flavour. It may not be the first thing you hear but with repeated spins you can start to hear it.
Look, I’m not going to continue reviewing this EP within the spectrum of what is required. I’m going to speak as a fan and as a fan of the band Balloons Kill Babies are fucking refreshing because of the extreme passion they put into making their music. They mean this and that was the instant thing that I clicked with. From here I got such joy from the level of escape that the music provided me. I don’t care for hit singles or pop skills if you can’t make me feel something. I want to connect to the sound and I want it to allow me the space to escape. I want the sound to wash over me and manipulate my mood into a reflective state where I muse on that deep yearning that exists in us all. I want to think about romance and woman and that sigh that exists with living inside a secret tomb of the crush, you know that joy of staying home on a Friday night and thinking about nothing but her. I want music that will sound great in my car stereo after I leave my day job, so great that I just submit to the highway and drive that extra distance just so I can hear more. I don’t want to be comfortable, I want to be challenged but I want that challenge to be conquered but not resolved. I’m not looking for a hit and run lover with music I want a long term swoon that will always keep me guessing but secure in the fact that for all the darkness that there is light on the other side. I want music that allows the ugliness of life to evolve into something way more beautiful. I just want music that will make me feel something. It has to provide me with rapture.
The debut EP “Leviathan” from Balloons Kill Babies does all of this and more with the only flaw being that it is an EP, I want this band to make a full length.
On the surface this band makes music that has no commercial value. I’m glad about that, it’s nice not to hear a single or a pop song shoved in your face. This band will be incredibly successful because they are such passionate humans making deep intense music. As I’ve said this is pure moodgaze music for fans of everything “post” and for those who know the power of the riff. This band will be successful because they buck the trend of hit singles and all that trash. Bands who do that will always resonate deeper with music fans because they aren’t being sold a conveyer belt product. Mark my words, the word will grow and their career will be a slow burner but as bands like Karnivool, COG, ISIS, Tool and Deftones have proved, while other people are busy getting haircuts and sorting their collection of complicated shoes the real artists get on with it and make a commitment to being truly progressive and evolutionary.
God Bless Balloons Kill Babies, you have made a fantastic debut EP worthy of a perfect score. I thank you for doing something for yourselves as opposed to the saturated market of bands with business plans and although this is just the beginning I can see their sound escaping the genre they are currently rooted in and arriving at something truly out of this world mind-expanding.
10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10
By Dan Newton
Facebook – www.facebook.com/balloonskillbabies