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Album Reviews : Balloons Kill Babies – Prodromal

By on September 12, 2017

Brisbane’s Balloons Kill Babies have a special knack for taking all-instrumental music and infusing it with high-velocity rocket fuel, as well as ensuring it makes fascinating listening at the same time, and this is a beautiful combination.

In short, Prodromal rocks hard and is highly interesting to listen to, all at once.

This EP is five tracks and 30 minutes of controlled instrumental fury, with strong moments of moody, unsettling ambience amid the tempest that provide wonderful dynamics and make the hairs of the listener stand to attention. The three musicians show off their monumental dexterity on their instruments whilst simultaneously serving the song, and each composition takes the listener through a number of riveting twists and turns across their length, and in this way each composition is a microcosm of the whole. It is a wild and powerful ride.

Picking a ‘best track’ on a release like this does the whole somewhat of an injustice, as this is designed to be experienced end to end in one sitting to attain full enjoyment. That said, you can still certainly drop in anywhere, on any individual track and find great enjoyment there.

Something that should be singled out however, is the production, it is razor-sharp. The guitars roar like thunder and the drums, right from the ominous opening moments of first track HTFK, cut through magnificently and sound superb. As if in celebration of this, track two Breach also opens with a propulsive but interesting drum groove that sets up the track beautifully.

Australia is producing some of the best vocal-free music on the planet right now, and Balloons Kill Babies should be set to enter a bigger league on the back of this release. There is but one complaint here, at EP length, Prodromal is too short and seems to whiz by too quickly. Hopefully their next move will be a full-lengther, to truly allow themselves to wind out. This band obviously has creative ideas flowing out of them. Prodromal might just be a tasty entrée before the coming main course.

Band: Balloons Kill Babies
Album: Prodromal
Year: 2017
Genre: Instrumental/experimental
Label:  Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.