The Ballantynes “Misery/Stay 7” Reviewed by The Georgia Straight!!

“Misery/Stay” (La-Ti-Da)

Remember when music was recorded direct-to-tape in old-fashioned, wood-panelled studios that smelled like sweat, ratty couches, and stale cigarette smoke? Based on this fantastically analogue-sounding 7-inch, garage-soul revivalists the Ballantynes most certainly do.

Some of the group’s red-lined live energy gets lost in translation here, which is to be expected considering the way the seven-piece puts out on-stage. What you get instead is two retro-tinted shots of soul-drenched ’60s pop, the Hammond keyboards of singer Jarrod O’Dell placed right where they belong at the front of the mix.

Close your eyes and you can practically see O’Dell’s neck veins bulging in “Misery”, which is sweetened by the grrrl-group goodness of backup singers Jen Wilks and Vanessa Dandurand.

With equally winning results, the ladies grab the mikes and step to the front for “Stay”, with O’Dell giving ’er on backing duties like a man making the most of his big shot on Hullabaloo. If you can get through both sides of this single without wishing you’d been born at a time when men wore thin-cut grey suits and white vinyl boots were the height of fashion, you clearly need a little more soul in your diet. Here’s humbly suggesting you start with the Ballantynes’ next live extravaganza.

-Mike Usinger