balthazarBALTHAZAR – ‘Rats’
There’s a lot to be said for simplicity.  The beauty of any plan can be in its simplicity; as Walter Sopchak once said.  Simplicity can win hearts and minds, convince and steer; soothe.  Taken literally, in its musical form, it can be just as effective as the most complex of song structures; hitting direct with targeted and subtle nuance, taking advantage of the most basic form of instrumentation.  There are few who have truly succeeded in this space and many that have been subsumed by the myriad of sub genres.  Balthazar draw on artists and influences still relevant in this field – there’s occasional likeness to an Alex Turner side project in the vocals (‘The Oldest Of Sisters’), with the low-fi melancholy of The XX (‘Later’), the low-tone incantations of I Like Trains (‘Joker’s Son’) or the danceable funk of Menomena (‘Sinking Ship’) – the first half succeeds in convincing.  The second half drags and aside from ‘Do Not Claim Them Anymore’, there’s little to steer, soothe or win this heart and mind.  (6)



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