Clocking in at under twenty-five minutes, it would be a fair assumption to make that BALA’s third album, Maleza, isn’t going to be full of pleasantries. However, if you’ve followed the six-year career of the Spanish pair to date, you’ll be well versed in their straight-to-the-point style.
BALA consists of the combined talents Anxela Baltar (vocals, guitars) and Violeta Mosquera (vocals, drums) and, on Maleze, the pair are clearly in the mood to kick up a right stink with their blend of punk rock, alternative metal and grunge. Nine tracks long, Maleza hurtle straight out of the gates and into the raucous opener “Agitar.”
Raw and gritty, BALA’s music isn’t pretty by any means. “Hoy No” is a snotty two-minute punk rock affair while “X” has an almost stoner-like drive to the guitars. Packed with dirty, distorted guitars and pounding, headache-inducing drums, BALA’s music is blunt, brutal, and downright dirty.
Singing in a combination of their native tongue and English adds an interesting twist to proceedings while the fuzz and distortion pumped through the mix gives the impression that Maleza was the sort of album smashed out in a couple of takes. “Mi Orden” and “Rituais” are perfect examples of this, the latter quickly descending into a wall of distorted guitars and hypnotic grunge-like vocals. It could be a mess. It should be a mess but, especially in the case of “Rituais,” the whole thing is held together with a bit of gaffa tape and a safety pin.
Delightfully unhinged, Maleza feels like it could collapse at any point but, by the skin of its teeth, this wall-shaking blast noise is still in one piece as the final notes of “Una Selva” are wailing into the distance.
Maleza Track Listing:
2. Hoy No
4. Mi Orden
5. Cien Obstáculos
6. Quieres Entrar
9. Una Selva
Run Time: 24:17
Release Date: May 14, 2021
Record Label: Century Media Records