EP review by KevW
Londoners BalloonMan take inspiration from many generations of alternative guitar bands and on this debut EP they give an airing to a whole host of influences. Personally they list The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and The Auteurs and shades of all can be detected on 'Aurelia', but perhaps due to those bands being at their peak many years ago and a multitude of others drawing from similar reference points, BalloonMan sound more conventional than revolutionary. However that's not to say this record is run-of-the-mill, because while originality may not be on their side, decent tunes are.
'Anyone But You' is sharp post-punk where Talking Heads meet Gang Of Four and create something unusually danceable; it's snappy and persistent. 'Astro', with it's aggressive guitar, is proto-Britpop before it became refined and turned sour, and 'Call To Arms' recalls a similar era, yet it has more in common with alt-rock bands from this side of the pond such as Deus than with the US grunge pack. Best of all is the statuesque disco-punk of 'Black Shoe' which briefly lifts the EP up that extra notch. All told 'Aurelia' is a very promising first outing.
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