Monday, June 18, 2018

Record Review:
Sick Balloons
"Drive-thru Towns & Flyover States"
(Bleeding Gold Records)

$10 //
Edition of 250 // //

When I first listened to this EP by Sick Balloons I thought it was a digital only release for some reason.   I listened to it many times, even sometimes while out walking with earbuds in, and I decided that the best way to review it would be a good old fashioned Song-By-Song-Review.    And then I kind of forgot about it and never got around to doing the SBSR, but now, since the 7" is here, let's do it!

<1> "Dial Away"  --- This starts with clanky guitars after the sound of plugging into the amp.   "There's no giant in the sky" and right away we're into the not believing in God idea.    In many ways, this reminds me of Samiam which is something I haven't really been able to compare another band with since, well, I first heard them so I'm definitely excited about that.   I'm also secretly exicted about playing this 7" at the wrong speed, which is mostly on me, I know I know.

<2> "I Started A Fire (That I Couldn't Put Out)" --- This is likely the single on the EP.   It reminds me of Blue October and just has this alternative rock feel mixed with something new.   It feels like the guitar is coming through one of those little amps you can clip to your belt and yes I am on the second song and have said "amp" twice already (Now three times for reference)    The title of the song comes out with the singing but only at the end so it's not the chorus in the sense that it isn't revisited during the song it just kind of closes it out but, I mean, how many times have we all started fires that we couldn't put out, right?

<3> "Picnic On War" --- Guitars bring this song to life and then the drums come in as well.   There is a Foo Fighters sound to this song, but on their older stuff, maybe even only their first album.    Should there be another rock reference I can make in here?  Probably.    It's punk like Shades Apart in the way that I'd imagine them playing shows together but it's all around just a good old rock and roll song still.

<4> "I'm Still Here" --- Distorted, more like garage punk here.   It's like Dynamite Hack mixed with the Priests and probably a number of other current bands which can be found mostly in California and on certain labels which release cassettes.   Let's just say Nobunny and you take it from there.   As it sings the title one last time it fades out and I can't help but feel it's a reference to Mudhoney somehow too, no?

There are a number of ways one could interpret the name Sick Balloons.   On one hand, you could think of someone as launching balloons in a terrorist attack way and when they popped poisonous gas was released to infect people and perhaps try and kill off the entire human race or at least a chunk of it.   But I like to think of it in a way that when you are out and see a balloon, deflated and sad, stuck in a tree, those balloons are sick and need help.   Funny how nothing else seems to have that same abandonment as a "Happy Graduation" balloon that got away and then crashed two towns over.

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