Balanx are a German outfit from the same school of AOR as Craaft and Channel 5. Very hi-tech 80’s, with a ton of keyboards.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: 258 438
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
LINEUP: Theo Hart – vocals * Louis – keyboards * Mannie Hart – keyboards * Peter Altinger – drums
Additional Musicians: Dieter Schleib, Roland Menzel, Eric De Mena, Walter Rauscher – guitars * Elmar Schmidt – cymbals * Paul Tieze, Syne – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 When A Paradise Burns * 02 I Belong * 03 Don’t Touch My Heart * 04 No Quiet Life * 05 Set My Heart Free * 06 Never Can Forget You * 07 Runnin’ * 08 Nothing’s Comin’ In * 09 Love * 10 No Quiet Life
Balanx are a German outfit from the same school of melodic rockers as Craaft and Channel 5. Very hi-tech 80’s, with a ton of keyboards to boot. You would think so particularly with two keyboardists in tow.
Among the members, some came from a session musician background in Germany. Though the album features a slew of musicians, the album is primarily all about keyboards and synths.
The singer Theo Hart has a distinctive accent but it doesn’t really detract at all, and the music itself varies between synth-driven melodic rock and a pompy style of AOR. This sub-genre was a hive of activity between 1985 and 1989.
Things sound extremely promising on the opener ‘When A Paradise Burns’. Superb keys give this track a big tick of approval. It really is that good. Smooth AOR is the order of the day with ‘I Belong’, whereas ‘Don’t Touch My Heart Again’ powers along on a wheel-base of synths, though the helium induced vocal pirouette toward the end, sounds a lot like backward masking. You have to hear it to understand what I’m on about. Clever and different!
The fourth track ‘No Quiet Life’ is the pick of the tracks here I reckon. A powerful driving arrangement with big guitars and spiky keyboards, just as many of us like it. This would sound awesome on a high quality stereo system. The fast paced ‘Set My Heart Free’ is another enjoyable track, and though the arrangement is kinda busy, the production on this one is a stand-out.
‘Never Can Forget You’ is a parpy synth workout with a good chorus while ‘Runnin’ does more walking than running in a musical sense, the intro and initial verses taking a while to get going, but then the band are introduced to Mike’s and we’re off. The pairing of ‘Nothing’s Comin’ In’ and ‘Love’ are the two weakest tracks on offer I reckon, while the closer is an edited remix of the albums best moment ‘No Quiet Life’.
As a melodic rock fan you’ll be swayed to either love this Balanx album or hate it. Guitar lovers won’t get much out of it while keyboard lovers will. Judging from prices seen on Ebay and inquiries made about it, my guess is that listeners are still interested in seeking this out.
The last bidding war I got into on Ebay over this album saw the price go out to over $70. From my perspective as a lover of keyboards it’s a great album from that angle, but at $70 even I draw the line at that price. Fans of the band Craaft especially – should be seeking this ‘One’ album out immediately.
Balanx on Video
No Quiet Life
Click to go to YTM album page.