Album: Nihiloceros – Dark Ice Balloons

“Mike Borchardt (guitar/vocals) and Alex Hoffman (bass/vocals) crossed paths over a decade ago playing in different bands in Chicago and Alaska. After they both ended up in Brooklyn, NY, the pair struck up a collaborative creative friendship. After the recent departure of their dear friend and longtime drummer, newest member and NYC punk stalwart, Glenn Gentzke, now rounds out the trio bringing with him a fresh dynamism behind the kit. With a shared penchant for loud guitars, cool rhythms, and sad pop melodies, they now write music together about the imminent evolutionary unraveling of the human condition and the absurdity of the end of the world. They also play a lot of shows.”

“Inspired by late 80’s and early 90’s punk rock and alternative rock, the band draws its influences from artists such as The Replacements, Jawbreaker, Husker Du, The Violent Femmes, Fugazi, and Placebo.”

I recently came across a submission for an album that was sent to me back in January, but unfortunately, it got lost in our email inbox. I’m relieved that we no longer accept submissions via email, as keeping track of emails has become a nightmare for me. I’m grateful that the band reminded me about their album, which was released earlier this month under my favorite pal’s label, Totally Real Records.

The new album features a collection of highly energetic punk-ish, grunge-ish, 90’s-ish post-hardcore songs that captivate you with their raw energy and amazing riffs, keeping you pumped from start to finish. My personal favorite track was Krong, which transported me back to my childhood/teenage years when I listened to a lot of punk bands because my brother started a punk band in high school. Even though I was just a silly kid at that time, the punk energy grabbed me right away. Since then, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the punk scene, as it felt like a genuine music community that never conformed to superficial music trends.

I’m delighted that Nihiloceros is bringing exactly that kind of vibe, and I really enjoyed the nods to 90’s music that I could hear so clearly in the song, whether it was from the guitars or the vocals. I loved the raw energy emanating from the song, and listening to the album was an absolute blast.

P.S.: Hearing “we build the city” was such a super cool reference.

Written by Filip Zemcik