A horrible hack


Plataforma / Autopista

Year Released: 2014
Format: 7"
Label: Disco Humeantes
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on Oct 4, 2014
Both of BALCANES' tunes here begin with brief moments of eerie, peripheral foreboding: before the drums kick in you hear little squeaks of feedback, static crackles, or a bass string being detuned, and it sounds like some massive beast rustling through the leaves trying very quietly to get the jump on you. First track "Plataforma" has the more dynamic attack of the two tunes that eventually stomp out of the shadows, queasy, sludgy guitars slopping back and forth over drum parts that slowly, economically drive nails into your skull. It's a dark, cavernous sound surrounding a mush-mouthed, distraught vocal performance - lyrics are a kind of surreal, primitivist hate song.

"Autopista" on the other side slows to an even more despairing trudge. Somewhere in there picks are hitting strings, but the deep, pillowy blankets of fuzz that results swathe the track in a grimy industrial greywash. The vocals are distant and desolate, increasingly lost in the haze. The whole 7" draws noise-rock by the hand into dark, abstract zones and achieves a mesmerising energy.

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