Quick and lethal, Varma Cross’ Reunion Balloons is like a switchblade; the five tracks spring out with a sharp shimmer and strike with a viciousness. It’s a tight album, no time to fuck around; four of the tracks don’t even reach the three-minute mark. This urgency gives the songs a power to match the howl of the vocals; the jangle of the guitar seems to strike from all angles and the snapping drums stick in your gut.
On the opener “Twin Spirits,” Varma Cross waste no time in grabbing you with their raw emotion and angst (“You were the one that I always wanted”). Their brand of lo-fi rock is filled with catchy hooks and pop sensibilities; they take emo and make it their own. “Fader” and “False Friend” simultaneously give us gritty and pretty; the band has the rough sound and a penchant for writing tunes that get stuck in your head (the quick turn of the guitar in “Danger, My Ally” jumps between sweet and then bitter). The hollered vocals want you to join in and fight off your demons. This is rock ’n’ roll therapy.
Favorite Tracks: “Twin Spirits,” “Fader,” & “False Friend”
You can see Varma Cross at the Replay on Friday, June 10.