BALLAST: Sound Asleep: CD

I had seen this band from Montreal, Canada this past summer and was not too impressed. I felt that they were going through the motions. It was a tough night for them to be playing with Paintbox, Sunday Morning Einsteins, Artimus Pyle and Harto. I know bands have off nights and I believe they truly had one that night. So, I was glad that this showed up for review. Musically powerful and emotional at the same time, this band plays a dirge of despair. Having elements of crust and anarcho punk from the past, they developed a sound that seems genuine and heartfelt. Female-led vocals that, at times, waver in pitch, belt out lyrics that are intelligent and seem to touch her personally and expressed by her delivery. The music is top notch, using a variety of chords, breaks, and tempo changes so that each song is not a repeat of the previous. An effort was made to structure the songs like stories. They may be a little long for some who are in the short-and-fast school of preference. Hearing this band in a studio situation gives me greater appreciation.

 –don (Profane Existence)