Balmorhea, Constellations

“Constellations,” the latest from Austin’s architects of aural density, Balmorhea is one damn freaky listen. Whether or not this five-piece intended on scaring the shit out of listeners, it happens, repeatedly on “Constellations.” It’s such a simplistic record, sparse in every manner of the word, that little more than a pluck of a banjo, a stomp of the foot or a sprawling, haunting coo of the violin can paralyze listeners. Free of vocals, “Constellations” seeks to disarm the night sky that stands menacingly over us night after night and does so with unmatched consistency.

“Bowspirit” begins the grand, controlled chaos with something of a stoned, campfire-ready haze. The aforementioned violins and banjos shine on “Bowspirit.” If this one won’t have you falling over yourself while gazing into Orion’s belt, then nothing will. It’s impossible to classify “Constellations,” but not because they encompass a few genres or anything. But because a record this vast in scope and possibilities stretches far past the constraints of words like “Genres.” If anything, this is the kind of record Greek philosophers would have sparked up a bowl with. It’s just that pungent.

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 4.5/5]

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