Balf Quarry


Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. One of the best things about Balf Quarry is the way it builds on the game-changing craftsmanship that Magik Markers brought to Boss.
  2. It hits just as furiously and sloppily as all the old Markers standards, no matter its label, run time, or production quality.
  3. Mojo
    Balf Quarry sees the duo swaggering through louche wah-wahed blues, no-wave barn burners and salty pop ditties, culminating in an eerily beautiful, piano-haunted fever dream. [May 2009, p.109]
  4. Uncut
    This follow-up finds them flitting dynamically from royal Trux-ish fuzz blues to incantatory pieces like 'Shells,' that cross "Experimental Jet Set"-era Youth with Nico. [Jun 2009, p.92]
  5. It takes only a few listens to realize that this album is its own beast. Even with healthy doses of unruliness and a few far-off wanderings, this is Magik Markers' most coherent, self-contained effort to date.
  6. 'Jerks' is a scathing freakout that made me want to hear Sonic Youth's cover of the Untouchables' 'Nic Fit' all of a sudden; '7/23' is a clopping, slightly flat, strangely iridescent love note; and the focus that disperses over the course of six hazy minutes of 'State Numbers' takes the opportunity of "The Ricercar of Dr. Clara Haber" to slap itself in the face a few times and the shimmering outburst of 'The Lighter Side of... Hippies' to remind you why you made it so deep into this oddly arresting album in the first place.
  7. Balf Quarry, however, sees Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan emerging blinking into the sunlight as they continue to excavate the more focussed sounds of last album "Boss."
  8. Balf Quarry feels both intensely structured, and delightfully free-form in its metaphorical confines.
  9. Balf Quarry, their first album for Drag City, isn’t going to put a halt to those Sonic Youth comparisons. They’ve steadfastly stuck with the sound created on the Boss album for most of this venture.
  10. 60
    She renders a sad refrain from a lotto ad on 'State Numbers,' slags CSNY on 'The Lighter Side of...Hippies,' and howls that "a loving woman can have the Devil's face" on the acerbic 'Don't Talk in Your Sleep,' making this the duo's most shambolic effort to date.
  11. Under The Radar
    The follow-up to 2007's "Boss" is an uneven album that is full of good ideas but often misses the mark. [Spring 2009, p.76]

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