Balboa

Manifeste Cannibale EP

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A band on a mission -- and let's face it, every hardcore band should be on a mission or not even bother -- Philadelphia, PA's Balboa compile four vicious stabs of inflammatory invective into 2005's Manifeste Cannibale EP. Musically, they alternate all-out aggression verging on metalcore with a surprising melodic sensitivity, but don't quite reinvent the hardcore wheel in the process. Lyrically, their songs provide scholarly dissections of firebrand philosophical and political issues (the bloodied flag on the back cover is not a frivolous piece of artwork), and their approach ranges from traditional means, like the agonized scream-driven "Ostracon," "Kyoto," and "End to Major Combat," to the outright recorded recital of the title track (a condemnation of dubious U.S. government war tactics). Hardly groundbreaking but still powerful stuff.