Every now and then an album you hear will grab your attention in such a unique way that you immediately tell everyone you know and you don’t let up until you’ve spread the good word. That’s how Balacade’s 2009 release, Friends Forever makes you feel. From a band that has toured across Canada, put out several albums, singles and a 7”, had a number one album on Victoria’s radio station CFUV, and whose influences are Mt. Eerie, Built to Spill and Neil Young, you couldn’t really expect anything less than quality musicianship.
The title track captures listeners’ attention with an amazingly close replica of Thom Yorke’s vocals. Balacade is fronted by Andrew Reynolds, who seems to be summoning the powers of Apollo, god of music, to entice you into listening to the remainder of Friends Forever. With lyrics like “There are walls that we build up / Just to tear down,” and “Did you ever see a dead dog / Lying on the road?” Apollo owns you and so will this album for the entire, too short, 20 minutes that it endures.
The EP sounds like a bomb of glitter in a Manitoba wind storm collided with a Korg and a violinist in concerto. The aforementioned uncanny sound of Reynolds’ voice turns into a faint whisper amidst electronic keyboard melodies and dusty percussion in the second track “Everything.” The high point of Friends Forever is arguably “Partition Magic,” an acoustic and soulful piece by Reynolds.
Lo-fi harmonies and melodies that sound like something from a state fair, matched with distorted electronics and subtle folk vocals makes Balacade a band worth boasting about. Friends Forever take it’s listeners through a cascade of feelings that would otherwise require an old cinema to bring into existence.