Balkans: "Edita V" b/w "Cave"  

Double Phantom Records

From the beginning, Balkans have wielded sophisticated songwriting while building on the dynamics of surf, post-punk and thin layers of noise that cradle vocalist Frankie Broyles' anemic yelps. With "Edita V," the noise is gone and the base elements reach pure, tonal perfection. For the first time ever, Broyles sounds confident, permanently altering the group's frazzled presence. Production is clean and loud, never outshining the sound that Balkans have been reaching for all along. On the B-side, "Cave" is a reserved melancholy number, but it's just as sharp. It even reveals a new pop aesthetic that Balkans couldn't have pulled off until this point in their evolution. It's clear now that the noise element of Balkans' prior singles was used to draw attention away from the underdeveloped edge of the band's abilities. But with these songs, distractions are no longer necessary. (5 out of 5 stars)

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