Over the last few years, the question of punk’s contemporary credentials has become an oft-discussed issue.
Some have argued that the art form went out of style back in the ‘80s. Others reckon it simply cannot connect with modern audiences. But those already trying to close the coffin lid on punk would do well to check out Spain’s Bala.
The vicious two-piece, an uncompromising act comprised of Anxela Baltar and Violeta Mosquera, are a counterpoint to those ready to argue punk is in stasis. There’s nothing apologetic or half-measured about their music. Given they have released songs with titles like 'Human Flesh', how could there be?
No, Bala are far from being pumped-up poseurs: rather, they are one of the most thrilling rising acts in the worldwide punk scene. Given their anarchic attitude, it makes sense they have a singularly uncomplicated process when it comes to making music.
“Our idea when we start composing records [is] simply to do something loud and powerful,” Anxela explains. “We have no greater pretensions: we only know we want to thunder [sic]. The rest we leave in the hands of the producer.”
The result is a record like 'Lume', an unforgiving assemblage of garage-rock riffs and brutal, unsophisticated pleasures; all glazed with blood, gore and four-chord choruses.
It’s also apparent they draw a great deal of strength from horror cinema. There’s something distinctly Mario Bava-esque about a song like 'Colmillos': something that brings to mind black-gloved killers and Giallo blood splatters.
“We both love cinema,” Anxela says.
“Somehow I think horror movies can reflect our sound very well.” Bala play Woolly Mammoth (Brisbane) 4 May, Bald Faced Stag (Sydney) 5 May and Cherry Rock Festival (Melbourne) 7 May.