Balloon Assembly Line is a three-piece band consisting Kelby Clark (guitar/vocals), Derek Barkalow (drums) and Kyle Keler (bass) who recently released an EP entitled Aerosol Fumes. The guys create dark, moody indie rock that shares a lot of similarities with Modest Mouse. In fact the similarities on some songs are so overt that the band could be criticized. That being said Balloon Assembly Line shows some moments of potential.
The biggest issue the band has to deal with right now is the recording quality. Unfortunately these songs don’t reach their full impact because of the subpar quality. I'm being conservative when I say the recording quality of the album needs about a fifty percent increase in order to be competitive with popular indie releases.
The first track “ Norepinepherine Reuptake Inhibitors” is unequivocally the best song of the four. It’s the most original and also has a punk rock vibe that sounds good on the band. Clark’s delivery is solid here as the vocals sound as if he is shouting in a megaphone. On top of that the drumming is slick. Don’t miss the impressive work on the hi-hat. If I were their manager I would say that this is a decent foundation to build an album off.
“Aerosol Fumes” sounds like a B-side to a Modest Mouse album. There are just too many similarities on this song. “Drowning” also transplants several Modest Mouse moves and the song buckles from sub par recording quality halfway through. The last track “Sad Night at the Frozen Yogurt Establishment” gets the band back on track and displays some sparks of originality. They bounce to a groove that shows some promise.
The band still has some work ahead of them and could use some tweaking. I know it’s not always possible to get a quality recording but I would do whatever they can to get someone to help out the sound. They wear their influences a bit to close to their sleeves sometimes and it’s obvious. The band has promise and I definitely heard it on the first track and somewhat on the third. Reach down, kill your idols and make it happen.
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