It would be nice to hear them live as you get the feeling that they are fairly withdrawn on this record, determined to ensure that they records their parts just so.
BalloonMan seem – on this evidence - to be adept at creating music that is slightly obsessive: nit-picking, frustrated and sometimes plodding, but to be fair to them pretty interesting and hinting at something bigger that is just out of reach. The EP veers between being poppy - Haircut 100 style - and incredibly moody and introspective, and you can sort of pick that up in the contrast by the guitar lines that pick out the rhythm and the lead. Call to Arms is the stand out track, balancing a melancholy vocal with some pretty ferocious guitar which succeeds in burning up effectively by the end. And Black Shoe and Anyone But You are up-tempo trots with jangly guitar parts, which is nice enough (especially Black Shoe), but what gives both songs their redemptive kick is the sticky fuzz guitar which does hint that the band could loosen up. The thinness and cleanness of the sound can add an interesting twist, in that on a track like the gloomy Astro it would have been incredibly easy to cop out and make a racket, which would eventually have served no-one.
So, well balanced, solid, ever so slightly groovy tracks which do hint at something more. It would be nice to hear them live as you get the feeling that they are fairly withdrawn on this record, determined to ensure that they records their parts just so. But maybe that’s because the singer’s got a deadpan slightly nasal delivery; he’s never histrionic at any point (and given his lyrics he could well start a fight with a mirror).