Not since 2013 have we been graced with the fantastic talent of The Ballantynes when they released the Liquor Store Pawn Shop Church EP. Earlier releases like Faith/Velvet 7” (2013), Misery/Stay 7” (2012), and now Dark Drives, Life Signs have cemented their reputation as the Vancouver-based garage, gospel, R&B, and soul mix.
I was introduced to their music at NXNE and found myself enthralled by the spectacular performance style of leadman Jarrod O’Dell and Vanessa Dandurand, backed by Jennifer Wilks (a master of vocals and keys), Corey Poluk (rocking the guitar while lending his voice), Max Sample (taking care of bass guitar and vocals where needed), and Michael McDiarmid (working the drums and percussion).
The ’60s surfer music vibe carries onto this album and develops itself tenfold. The organ, the tambourine, the guitar – it all lends to what makes for such a unique style. Odell’s voice rips through the tracks and makes for a very passionate performance, giving the same feeling as attending one of their concerts. While the instrumentals take on the surfer music, the vocals are unmistakably gospel and carry each note with the same passion.
I love that the image that the band portrays perfectly matches their sound. Like with their previous EP, the Ballantynes’ music has an ideal balance between lightning-fast songs and tunes that slowly sway along, establishing their variable environment. They seem to favour a faster tempo to keep things lively and love tends to be the dominating force that powers each performance.
Don’t let these guys slip through the cracks, they’re worth the support! So check out their new sound on their BandCamp page, but make sure you check out their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @TheBallantynes.