Ava Luna – Electric Balloon

Like two records playing simultaneously, it’s as if they couldn’t quite decide which band to be, so threw in everything they had at once.

Label: Western Vinyl

Rating:

n opener ‘Daydream’, Brooklynites Ava Luna have a near post-punk masterpiece. Channelling geographical neighbours Talking Heads and at points the fevered yelps of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, it’s every bit as angular as anyone could hope. And - there’s handclaps. It’s followed by the curiously-named ‘Sears Roebuck M&Ms’ with its repeated “the most sweet thing” refrain, which continues the theme. It possesses a brilliantly insistent disco riff. Essentially, it’s oddball in all the right ways.

If only the rest of ‘Electric Balloon’ followed suit.

With this second full-length, the five-piece have somewhat haphazardly meshed together these sounds with slices of sleazy, smooth soul. Like two records playing simultaneously, it’s as if they couldn’t quite decide which band to be, so threw in everything they had at once. From ‘Crown’ onwards – save the synthy title track and first two minutes of ‘Plain Speech’ – it’s mostly R&B vibes. And, like with the Spanish-sounding ‘Aquarium’ and the structureless ‘Genesee’, it’s stream-of-consciousness put to tape.

At best, it’s eccentricity gone wild – there’s no shortage of weird noises creeping in throughout – and at worst, just confusing.

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