Reuniting 10 years after high school, Balms members Jared Padovani, Michael Ascunsion and John Kolesnikow started in a basement in San Francisco and have been cranking out music ever since. While their typical sound airs on the side of dreamy alternative, their debut LP Mirror allows listeners to see a new, darker side of the band.
Dipping their toes into more of the ‘90s grunge sound, Balms uses Mirror to introduce a much more haunting style of music. The wall of guitar support is heavier and the lyrics more introspective than listeners might expect. “Dark Rider” starts with an aggressive, upbeat instrumental track before introducing melancholy and dreamy vocals. “Setting Sun” wraps up the LP with a slow build-up that leads to an instrumental break so emotionally charged, you can almost feel the heaviness.
If you’re seeking a collection of tracks to help you self-reflect—a cathartic release, if you will—Mirror will provide in abundance.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: BALMS – MIRROR