Balthazar: Thin Walls


This Belgian band produced one of our albums of the year not long back.
We’d guess they’re quite big in their native land, but didn’t do so well over here, which is a shame because they play distinctive indie pop with a sound that’s very much their own. It’s a bit hard to describe but imagine early pomp-free U2 (in their quieter moments) with a youthful Tom Waits on the vocals. They’re perhaps a bit Echo and the Bunnymen in places.
This new album sees them staying fairly close to the sound of the last, in fact the opening track Decency opens in almost the same way, with separate plucked notes as the song kicks off, as if to tell fans they’re not changed. Track two Then What is a bit livelier and reminiscent of The Cure for its beat and guitar. Track three Nightclub opens with a riffing guitar and is more Tom Waits.
We have to admit that if you ripped both this album and the last and played them on shuffle on the old iPod it would be hard to tell the difference. Good as they are, sadly we can’t see them making any more headway in the UK market than they did last time.
If you like clever, gloomy indie pop we recommend them.

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