Reviewed by Belinda Acosta, Fri., Sept. 3, 2004
BalisticaThe Jungle Science e.p. In a gag audio clip on Balistica's debut EP, an interviewer describes these Austinites as "a sonic, punk outfit." Then comes the kicker: "Why did you guys leave the sombreros at home?" One only hopes that was a gag! In any event, the name Balistica says it all insolent, urgent, snarky as necessary, and urban in an architectural rather than cultural sense. Aching limbs of steel, the hot shudder of concrete, the false sparkle of glass, and every once in a while, the sweet breath from a patch of green all emanate from The Jungle Science's 20-minute run time. "Rag" opens the disc with a deceptively mellow riff that leaps into an industrial grind churning with rock & roll rhythms. The kiss and slap lyrics ("Your adoration sets me free. It's like a razor, it cuts me deep ... you know I want it so") end in a raw punk rant, strangely lightened with a familiar Arab-world vocal riff sailing over it all near the end. The previously mentioned audio clip follows, slipping into the liquid, Dick Dale-like guitar opening of "Hard to Swallow," where relentless punk rhythms tumble with a ripped vocal driven beat. "Racer" is the most popilicious of the disc, amazingly elevating the timeless pop phrase "doot-dooty-doot" to a tolerable level. An insistent brew of punk-driven, moody rock rhythms demanding to be heard finish off the disc. The demand is well worth heeding. Sombreros? Balistica don't need no stinkin' sombreros.