i heard is this it by the strokes in the fall of 2001. i was in the car on the way to an army football game at west point. i think i heard that record back to front four times that day. and countless more times that week. i was in awe of something that seemed so simple, was so raw, and was so exciting at the same time.
since that time we’ve seen “cool” come and go. new trends have been birthed and died. pop has risen to new heights. we’ve become obsessed with reality tv. all the while, the excitement in rock and roll has not died…instead it’s taken a turn for the underground once again. bands are brilliant still, they’re just harder to find since they seem less interested with the mainstream and more connected to making art that moves them.
atlanta’s balkans is the freshest band i’ve heard in a while. they combine a sharp sound, reminiscent of the joggers with the cool of the strokes. their garage-y ramshackled approach gives a nod to san diego’s soft pack. balkans have a swagger and an odd sort of nonchalant fuzz that make you wonder how much they give a shit. the shifts and turns in their song structures quickly dispel any notion that these guys aren’t about business.
they have a few 7’s around and a recent self-titled full length that dropped on may 10th. do yourself a favor and be on the look out. balkans, you’re officially on the radar. i really love this band.