BalloonMan are a new North London trio inspired by familiar sources such as Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth but also the somewhat less well known Auteurs. It is actually the latter with whom they have the most in common, since BalloonMan are full of similar levels of vim and vitriol, balanced with a healthy dose of South England wit.
‘Anyone But You’ begins with a complex, wiry guitar intro from the Josef K school of angular melody but more distinctive are the biting vocals of frontman Rob Briden. ‘Astro’ is angrier (not least Bridon’s threat to “cut you up inside”) although the overall effect is on a par with a few too many Brit-pop acts from the 1990’s. However, the trio regain their form immediately. ‘Black Shoe’ possesses a welcome vibrancy thanks to its insistent rhythmic flow whilst the finale ‘Call To Arms’ impresses with its buzzsawing guitars and driving chorus.
Considering these four tracks are the band’s first released songs, there’s a strong body of evidence to suggest they are a group worth keeping tabs on. Even if the guitar work may contain too many echoes of past influences, Briden’s barbed lyrics will win many new admirers looking for the next Morrissey or Luke Haines.
The Auteurs, Franz Ferdinand, Gene