B. Balthazar - Sweet Receiver EP

It's almost as if Troy Bruno Balthazar is proving that he does hold in his writing ability the power of pop melody, and doing so without losing the identity of the songwriting style he has created for himself over the last 10 years or so in Chokebore. This Sweet Receiver EP marks the first solo release by B. Balthazar, a three-song precursor to his solo debut full length. Still the sad songs these tracks offer even more of Troy on a personal level lyrically and musically. B. Balthazar is responsible for performing all the instrumentation on the EP including piano, drums, bass, and acoustic guitar. The first two songs are acoustic guitar based yet they yield no similarities to any folk artists of the past... basically leaving it difficult to describe the songs other than they are similar to some of the quieter slower songs of Chokebore's, only acoustic and containing a stronger element of melody. The third song, Sweet Receiver, lets us hear a side of B. Balthazar that we heard in the track "Where Is the Assassin?" from Chokebore's album Black Black. The song is built from the distant slightly distorted sound of piano and B. Balthazar's naked voice uttering the words that, "they want to carry your soul away." He also shares with us lyrics like, "I keep all your energy and store it up inside me, it's nice and soft, it's just enough", expressing the idea that there is hope within the mind of this torn troubadour who has mastered the art of the sad song.

Dennis DeSmeth (2001/02/27)