Balloons Kill Babies – Prodromal (2017)


This band kills it.

An instrumental rock trio that rips prog and rock riffs like it’s nothing. BKB make incredibly good use of dynamics and various sonic territory with guitars, bass and drums. What I appreciate at once is that BKB don’t lay down extra tracks such as when the guitar flies up the neck for a high part or takes off on some lead melody, there is deep dirty bass and punchy drums beneath..and not much else. I feel like there must be some COG influences in there..if not Tool and the rest of the usual suspects.

It feels like a really true representation of what you might get from a live show however. In the genre, many would chuck a few layers beneath, phatten it up and keep the mix big but here..on ‘Prodromal’ the band keeps things relatively honest and ‘as they would be’ outside of the studio. For that..they get props. For sounding so damn good at it, they get much more.

Opening sledgehammer HTFK starts with big open drums, ambience and low bass droning through overdrive. You’d expect a big boom to soon follow but the filtered guitar pops and blurps along into a Tool-ish medley that really entertains! The cyclic riffing and chordal progressions (carried largely by the bass) serve the band well in creating a nice build up to that imminent ‘boom’!

‘Breach’ has a more up tempo feel and see’s more effects used, slap and more poppy bass parts shining through. The highs are high, the surprise at the end is big and different from what I was anticipating. These are hallmarks of really creative musicians, to chuck a curve ball and yet keep it connected.

‘Illuzia’ is a longer piece which takes it’s time getting to business. Ambience and patience are the name of the game here. The heaviness is also upped a notch and the riffing is metallic for lack of a better word. With each song there is a very different path and way of getting to the good stuff. The stunning video is a shorter cut from the EP but none the less worth every second of its 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Watch it.. i’ll wait…

This group seriously have their finger on the pulse as far as what elements will sate current interest in the current post-rock market but will also keep the heavy fans interested. There’s longevity and replay value in this EP and I highly recommend jumping on the bands pages to follow/stream/buy this slab of rock-gold.

Very decent effort and a great sounding piece of work.

RIYL: Majora, Sleepmakeswaves, COG with no vocals, Tool circa-Undertow era without the self loathing.

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