Wednesday 25 September 2013

Ballerina Black - Injureless: Svart

EP review by

Regular readers (and music aficionados in general) will know that Ballerina Black is the musical venture of Bobby Moynahan who is aided by Romeo Mendoza on drums, and together they collaborate with other musicians from the Los Angeles area, and then they release the results to welcoming ears from far and wide. This new EP is the conclusion of the 'Injureless' trilogy, a set that began last summer with 'Röd', the single from which was our introduction to their music. Earlier this year the second instalment, 'Blå', was released and now we come to the end of this chapter with the equally foreign sounding 'Svart', although this title doesn't have strange symbols above the letters that are designed to confuse halfwits like me. The sound remains the same: dark and brooding, nocturnal, inspired by post-punk and with the personality of someone who you wouldn't want to bump into down a dark alley.

There's instant post-punk and new-wave echoes to be heard on the intro to 'Sauves Grey', although the vocals are very soft and offer a nice contrast. It's one of their better and probably most accessible songs, and usual rules about mentioning The Cure, Depeche Mode and so on apply, but you can pick a dreampop band from a few years later and throw them in too. Let's go for Slowdive. 'Yaphet Kotto' is another that's designed to puzzle the living heck out of our spell-check, but it's full of Peter Hook bass and drums from The Cult. Despite the references, Ballerina Black are offering something new in these songs; they're not just a musical time machine. There's a big centrepiece (although it probably wasn't designed to be) in 'Knves' which steers a bit closer to '80s rock, just stopping short of going too far, and the terrific ending is a high point. There's a different flavour to 'Red Pencil' that relies less on the aforementioned bands and offers a more individual aspect to Ballerina Black's music; yet again it relies on some stern bass but in a different style and the overall sense is more haunted than most of their work. They finish in typical fashion (when it comes to their sound at least) with 'Obedience/Terminal Despatch' but it turns out to be one of the highlights of the whole trilogy with a driving rhythm and some nice work with the melodies. So 'Svart' concludes this series, and we await the sequel.

Ballerina Black's website

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