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Balaclavas - Snake People

Submitted by @GunsandTacos on October 4, 2024 – 11:21 pm2 Comments

By Jack Daniel Betz

The pitch-black noise rock of Balacalavas only continues to mature on their sophomore LP “Snake People”. Much like“Roman Holiday” the band relies on the core rhythmic drive of dummer Charlie Patranella and a complete disregard for the trappings of contemporary rock music.

The highly stylized music on “Roman Holiday” is continued on without missing a beat. In addition to heroic gothic drumming, the music still echoes with the sounds of grinding guitar feedback, doomy bass lines and synth tones buzzing with the ominous oscillations of a chorus of sizzling tesla coils.

Tracks on “Snake People” vary in length from two minutes and sixteen seconds to over nine minutes. “Snake People”, the latter of these two, completely disregards structure. Rim drumming like on “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” combined with Tyler’s dramatic cries makes for a feverish nightmare-scape that would make Peter Murphy shit his pants. This staple track also includes a number of delightfully Cabaret Voltaire tape samples in the beginning, only adding to mood.

This is not to say that the shorter tracks are not just as good. “Down and Loose”, the album’s second shortest song, is highly organized and structured with cryptic lyrics like, “tight black leather boots, smoking cigarettes, with no regrets”. Even on the less lengthy tracks, Balaclavas sets the mood.

Grade: A


  • [...] Balaclavas have to be one of the most distinctive bands in Houston.  They are the kind of band that is inventive enough to play with a lot of different ideas but still sound like themselves.  The new album, Snake People, is as solid a work as anything they have released previously and their live shows are rare and intense.  I ran into Tyler Morris at Black Hole and he was contrasting for me how their last album, Roman Holiday, started as a single and expanded to a full length with the sessions six month apart while the new album, Snake People, was done under cohesive sessions and the band was able to spend a year perfecting the material.  And while Roman Holiday was a great record, you can definitely hear the album, Snake People, as a more focused work with she songs ranging from specific social commentary to psychedelic word play as the band projects an almost gothic menace with its dense sound.   But Jack Daniel Bentz already did a review of the album so let me just say, it’s a solid album and the show is going to be great.   Here is the link to Jack’s review (link). [...]

  • BallerCraig says:

    They effin’ rule, ain’t known they was still ’round ’bouts yonder.

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