I’ve been waiting and hoping for new material from Balcanes since I first heard their debut 7”, Plataforma / Autopista, when it came out in 2014. Those two tracks are so menacing and crushingly ominous that they made my hair stand up; and I kept going back to listen to them over and over and over. That hasn’t really changed. So, when I saw the teaser for new material on Balcanes’ facebook page, you can get an idea of why I practically jumped out of my chair in excitement.
It’s unfortunate to me – although understandable due to the limited amount of material released thus far – that Balcanes hasn’t gotten as much attention as some of their contemporaries such as No Form and Rectal Hygienics, because they are equally as deserving. And, because Balcanes hails from Spain, they have a fantastic set of peers, including Billy Bao and Una Bèstia Incontrolable; but these names are for reference more so than comparison.
Balcanes’ music is comparable to brooding clouds on the immediate horizon; it’s huge, intimidating, uncompromising, and all encompassing. They create oppressive atmospheres and chilling soundscapes through an incredibly minimalist, repetitive, post-punk based approach to noise rock. And when I say minimalist, I mean it.
The simplicity is beautifully sordid, and is incredibly effective in evoking the desired feelings. Each track dirges through a foggy sonic swamp, swarming with feedback and covered in layers of grime, dragging gnarled, twisted mutations of Gang Of Four and Friction-esque jagged guitar work into the depths of decay. Imagine Skullflower and The Ex are suffocating each other, and puking out one final, blood-chilling gasp in unison as they depart from the realm of the living together.
If you’re planning to check out any new noise rock this year, make sure Carne Nueva is on your list. For your convenience, the album can be streamed in full below.