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Zlam Dunk

Balcones (Mission Social Club)

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

Texas Platters

Zlam Dunk

Balcones (Mission Social Club)

Zlam Dunk will shake you to your bones. The Austin quintet rubs joy and anxiety together, then feeds off the friction. Sophomore vinyl Balcones spins a powder keg of nerve endings, with Brett Thorne's frenetic, spidery guitar angling for most danceable neurosis in the South. Even the instrumentals crackle. Charlie Day, meanwhile, believes his prophecies: "This city used to be so bright/We were surrounded by a million lights," he spits on "Monterrey." Does his syntax resonate? His energy certainly does – in a voice like a weathered howl distilled in bourbon and sprawled on the sidewalk. It erupts, kicks, and promptly vanishes, the other end of these 27 minutes leaving you light-headed and ready for more. For all its limited resources, Balcones quakes a remarkably epic album, a blast of fraught post-punk groove and rampaging hardcore ethos unafraid to bare it all. More like this, please. (LP release: Thursday, Oct. 25, at Beauty Ballroom.)

***.5

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