Hungover on Judgement Day
If you've seen Tim Balash and the Chrome Magpies under the stage lights, you don't need any reminders of how much, for what's ostensibly a country band, they completely rock. Not in the slow buildup way, like Gram Parsons or something more pretentious. It's more like a Baptist minister's controlled explosion. Beauty on the edge of danger. Mop-headed Balash's high voice is key, and he's a fine songwriter. -Fish Griwkowsky, The Edmonton Sun Balash's debut album, Hungover On Judgement Day, is another tribute to Edmonton's independent rock scene. Whether he's rocking out with a bluesy guitar lead on 'Money is the Blood' or being cheeky with the country-rock of 'It's Hard to Look for Work When You Don't Get Up Til Noon', the quality of Balash's songwriting is undeniable. Tim Balash isn't the kind of songwriter who gets stuck in a rut. He throws more musical change-ups than most; and a Chrome Magpie show sees him moving from electric to acoustic guitar for the many different styles he chooses to work in. As for his backing band, the Chrome Magpies feature some of the most recognizable names on the Edmonton music scene; Brent Oliver, founder of the city's Green Pepper Records label, offers his services on the Hammond, especially effective on the album's title track, which sees him play as if he's offering a backing to a church hymnal. Gavin Dunn, Oliver's ex-bandmate in the country-rock outfit the Maybellines, provides some great guitar licks while well-respected Tim Resaul takes a regularspot behind the kit. Balash and the Chrome Magpies offer some of the grittiest original tunes on the Alberta music scene right now, but it's awfully hard to try to categorize them. -Steve Sandor, Edmonton Plus.