Ava Luna - Electric Balloon | Album Review | By Volume

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Ava Luna

Electric Balloon

Sort of delightful, mostly kinda weird.

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Author: on March 10, 2014
Western Vinyl
March 10, 2014

Ava Luna’s Electric Balloon opens with a song that sounds like the long lost alternate closing credits track from Rocky Horror Picture Show. The album presses on from there in a cacophony of punked out soul that is both confusing and delightful.

Electric Balloon tries to do too much at once, but the overwhelming nature of it all seems deliberate. The band goes the route of low-fi production and musical improvisation and it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t — but what’s attempted on record is always interesting. The album’s inconsistencies are plentiful, and at times it’s frankly exhausting to listen to. Whenever I tried to give it my full attention I found myself constantly distracted, like my brain simply didn’t want to deal with the aural-squall surrounding Electric Balloon.

That being said, Electric Balloon still has a few wonderful moments. “Plain Speech” is a beautifully desultory track that feels like three songs at once, that all communicate with each other to create a delirious trip of killer vocals and noisy guitars. The track comes halfway through the album and commands attention, freewheeling between punk and gospel vibes and layering three sets of vocals with apparent ease. Another album highlight, “Sears Roebuck M&M“, sounds like a B-52’s b-side with its grooved up beat and funky female vocals, complete with intermittent shrieking — “Hiii-ya!

The album boasts strong vocal performances, interesting song structures and compelling blend of genres. But the overall result is sloppy, and much of it sounds like an unfinished thought. I wanted to like it, felt obtuse for not getting it and feel a strong affection for the band. For now, I’m tossing a few tracks from the album onto playlists and keeping my eye out for their next attempt, because if nothing else Electric Balloon gives you reason to want more.

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