Album Review: The Balconies – Kill Count EP

The Balconies

Kill Count EP

Good things come in small packages; at least that’s what countless guys will claim. In the case of The Balconies, it’s actually true. Their 5-track EP packs more quality than some double-disc releases. The progress on this album has been slow; released digitally in 2011, Kill Count made many end-of-the-year Top 10 lists (including mine). However, the 7-Inch “official” release didn’t come until February 28th of this year.
Various styles and time periods are dabbled with throughout the album. The first single, ‘Kill Count’ combines the essence of 80s glam rock with lo-fi, surf-rock guitar. ‘Tiger’ is almost a nod to the ‘Whoville’ song from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas…in a good way. (You won’t be able to stop hearing it now, sorry). ‘300 Pages’ goes for bright and cutesy 60’s pop with an edge. ‘Battle Royale’, with its funky bass intro and stealthy vocals would be perfectly at home on a James Bond soundtrack. ‘Serious Bedtime’ goes back to the 80’s, begging you to sing The Romantics’ “when you’re talking in your sleep” over the guitar line.
This album takes every opportunity it can to show off Jacquie Neville’s vocal range. The lady shows what she can do with an easy confidence, as if she were born howling on key. Brother/bassist Stephen and drummer Liam Jaeger also provide vocals; supporting, contrasting and sonically pulsating at all the right times.
All five tracks on Kill Count EP have that one part that will get stuck in your head. But The Balconies strive to be more than just fluff-stuffed earworms. Razor-sharp hooks are enveloped by well constructed melodies, inviting you to explore and enjoy the whole song. It’s a rare, built-to-last kind of music, not having anchored itself to any one era or “fashionable” sound.
This tiny release has been enough to propel The Balconies into a stellar festival-filled summer. See them at the following shows (and many more to come):
May 12 @ Underground, HAMILTON (*Spring Music Fest w/ USS)
May 30 @ The Tonic Room, CHICAGO
June 5 @ Arlene’s Grocery, NEW YORK CITY (w/ USS)
June 6 @ Piano’s, NEW YORK CITY (*Early showcase)
June 28 @ U.S. Cellular Stage, MILWAUKEE, WI (*SUMMERFEST)
July 14 @ Downsview Park, TORONTO (Edgefest)
July 15 @ River Stage, OTTAWA (**Ottawa Bluesfest, 4:30pm w/ The Trews)


About J2

What happens when you're a wordsy music aficionado who works for NXNE, CMW, HPX, Olio Music Festival, The JUNOs and Polaris Music Prize? You spend all of your free time blogging about it... Follow on Twitter if you're so inclined: @HearPlugged

Posted on May 8, 2012, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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