Star Bar // Atlanta, GA // February 24
Balkans have written what is their best song to date in “Edita V.” The music is quick, intricate, and abrasive. The song’s chorus, however, is a catchy, well earned release that sounds like something a less-polished Strokes might record. Their February 24th show at Star Bar celebrated the release of the Edita V 7” single. Not letting the track remain an anomaly, the band turned out an angular set filled with similar fare. Think along the lines of art-punks like Television.
Where that band was rooted in a type of proto/post-punk of their New York home, Balkans remain current to their time and place with garage overtones, slight surf qualities, and more dissonance and squall than the average pop band. These qualities were all in effect in the performances of “Georganne,” “Violent Girls,” and “Cave.” While the group’s most recent recordings, and especially the aforementioned single of which “Cave” is the B-Side – have become more polished over time, Balkans still retain a loud, noisy edge to their show.
In general, vocalist/guitarist Frankie Broyles writes songs that get to the point. With that in mind, it is likely that almost none of the band’s songs broke the three-minute mark this night. In the span of a dozen arty, yet accessible songs, Balkans questioned what pop music could – and should – look like. It seems that they found an answer.