Sunday, October 30, 2011
Before heading off to CMJ almost two weeks ago, I had thoroughly planned out the showcases I would be attending and the bands I wanted to see. Or so I thought. Strangely enough there didn't appear to be that much happening on the Tuesday night I had chosen to start my CMJ adventure but the promise of Gauntlet Hair and Atlanta based band Balkans (who were short-listed on Spin Magazine's 30 Must See CMJ bands) playing at Pianos was the saving grace of my evening. Despite Gauntlet Hair cancelling, the evening was no doubt saved by Balkans.
The Atlanta foursome channel a Strokes-esque manner of cool, understated jangly rock while not just sounding like wannabes. Balkans' self-titled debut is collection of punky, drawling vocals with rapid, unforgivingly precise guitar rock with an oddly infectious pop sensibility. Their songs, though short, are an excitingly, attention-grabbingly angular - the kind that have you returning to the album to hear that awesome guitar lick again and again. If you haven't listen to Balkans yet, one listen will have you regretting it instantly.
Check out Balkans with this intense live video of album opener "Edita V":