Founded by Idles manager Mark Bent and Idles vocalist Joe Talbot, Balley Records is revolutionary as the home of hardcore punk bands due to being founded by one of the leading names in modern day punk. Three punk bands make up Balley; Crows, Heavy Lungs, and Lice. Bristol band Lice were first signed by Balley in 2015 after forming at Bristol University, quickly becoming one of the more prominent names in hardcore punk due to the release of their Nutmilk demos. One track, ‘Little John Waynes’, may be considered the epitome of modern hardcore punk, with lead singer Alistair shrieking his vocals and pushing his voice to the limit to create a husky, strained tone which carries out a defining punk asset: unconventionality.
Unconventionality is one of the leading tropes in punk, with Heavy Lungs defining themselves through raucous waves of energy transcribed through not only their music, but by lyricist Danny Nedalko. Nedalko’s powerful voice not only intimidates but offers a solitude for punk fans who have not found a band who convey the classic punk genre throughout their modern music, and Heavy Lungs do just that. The release of EP ‘Abstract Thoughts’ in 2018 highlights strong comparisons between them and Idles, making it unquestionable that they were signed to Balley because of their defining originality yet home in Punk.
Crows debuted their single ‘Pray’ in 2015 and earlier this year released debut album ‘Silver Tongues’. They are another strong band where heavy punk is continued and honoured through their writing. Album ‘Silver Tongues’ creates a thundering atmosphere of industrialism, not heard since the classic 1980s punk that has clearly inspired such heaviness that is given approval by the former punks of the classics we compare to.
The energy in punk is unlike no other. An article in the NME once read ‘caring about people is way more punk than moshing’, and I couldn’t agree more with the statement. Punk isn’t what it used to be; dangerous, scary, intimidating. We have bands like Idles, Slaves, and Heavy Lungs to thank for that. Not only have they created a scene where punk fans can rejoice, but they have developed a genre so perfectly where they can still play the heavy music they love while creating a safe atmosphere for all. Without a doubt, that’s the future of modern punk.
by Erin Allwood