Release DetailsLABEL Forge Again Records
RELEASED ON 3/22/2005
posted on 3/2005 By:
Balboa’s record label describes the band as “chaotic melodic rock,” so I was already nervous when I put the disc into my stereo. Sadly, my anxiety was justified, and this is just about as mediocre as I expected. It’s not hard, and hard not to make comparisons with the Dillinger Escape Plan when listening to Manifeste Cannibale; Balboa have the same sort of noisy, heavily distorted guitar work which shows up on DEP material. However, the difference is obvious - when repeatedly listening to an album such as Calculating Infinity, one will uncover a method to the madness, a sort of twisted logic behind the obscure song construction. With Balboa, there seems to be little more than irritatingly noisy guitar buzzing which is simple and uninteresting. The songs lack direction, and there is no sense of musical progression or shifts in dynamics, mood, or tempo within the individual tracks. Like any good noise band, Balboa trots out the now-requisite “melodic” parts, but these fail to genuinely create an in-song contrast. Worst of all, there is nothing on this EP which I actually found to be heavy or intense, which is perhaps why the group is termed “rock” by their label. This really isn’t a rock release, it’s just a feeble attempt at noisecore.
The four cuts on this EP seem homogenous and tend to bleed together rather than make themselves distinguishable. That’s not a problem if the overall sound of the band is interesting, but with Balboa, the listener begins to long for some sort of variation. The title track delivers a sample of a political speech, but this ends up outstaying its welcome. For some reason, the second two tracks on Manifeste Cannibale are almost twice the length of the first two, but that doesn’t mean that they sound any different. Lyrically, the band seems fixated on social issues, but while I was interested by some of the writings on their website, Balboa simply don’t have the music to back it all up. Instead, we get the same “I’m going to strum two chords which are both aesthetically discomforting and sound as though they should not be played in the same song, or at all” shtick, and it simply doesn’t qualify as exciting or unusual.
The production on Manifeste Cannibale isn’t particularly great, but it isn’t really bad either. Anyhow, it’s hard for me to judge when it is highlighting music this tepid. The musicianship level isn’t high, and most guitarists could probably replicate the material on this EP. The drums seem simple yet precise. Vocalist Pete sounds exactly like any other frontman in this genre. I assume that he’s the lyricist, and as I said, he isn’t doing badly in that department, but his actual vocal style is rather typical and boring.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I hate Balboa or their EP, for that is not what I have attempted to say. I simply feel that in an overpopulated scene, the band isn’t doing anything which sets them apart. None of their music is truly bad, and the fellows in the band should take comfort in the fact that just about every group leaves behind a sordid trail of mediocrity which they would probably like to forget about later into their career. I just don’t see why anybody would buy this EP when there are much better things out there to spend money on. It’s true that it comes on one of those cool fan discs, and maybe that’s enough to win some of you over, but I would recommend that the reader steers clear of this until the band gets their act together.
Register to post comments.