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Bullets or Balloons / Press

“This album is trippy from the get-go. The cover boasts some kind of tentacled, eyeball-thing flying over a mountain range. A mountain range with a mouth and a single eye. The music itself doesn't quite evoke that acid trip vibe, but the sense of confusion you get from the cover certainly does justice to the issues tackled both lyrically and musically. Instrumentally speaking, it's hard to put your finger on where these guys are coming from. There's tons of tap bass, reminiscent of technical metal, or prog-rock like Rush, and guitar that reminds me of a cross between the 90's Seattle sound, and that artsy, indie shit Modest Mouse was peddling before they started gunning for a radio audience, on top of drums with jazz sensibilities and punk fury, all layered under scathing social commentary from a less-than-melodic-yet-ever-professional vocalist... It leaves one unsure of how to relate, but relating all the same.”

“Bullets or Balloons crafts a sound that teeters between garage, punk and math rock. Henderson mightily hollers out fierce vocals, Anderberg expertly picks and prods his bass and Mason-Phipps keeps it all together, beating the hell out of his drum kit. It's music, written together, that finds purpose in stop-and-go rhythms and scuzzy yet intricate harmonies.”

“Olympia trio Bullets or Balloons reside in the sort of free-for-all punk-rock mish-mash first explored by the Minutemen, and later fIREHOSE—all three bands basking in temporal time-signature noodling and noose-tight riffs. Not surprisingly, the band recently opened for Mike Watt and his Missingmen in Spokane. But while the resemblance between the two bands is an easy distinction, Bullets or Balloons is also clearly a conglomeration of varying influences. Their self-titled debut carries bold musical choices, like the instrumental, bass-led track "Number 2," which is followed by the speak-sung political prog-punk tune "GNR," barked in homage to readymade tuneless vocalists like Spencer Moody. With this kind of open-book experimentalism, there are some downright strange avenues explored, too ("Relapsecore"), but the vast majority of the material coming from the trio so far is extremely provocative, and a promising bastion for Northwest punk. RYAN J. PRADO”

“Bullets or Balloons might surprise you. The newest project from ex-Cyrus Fell Down-ers Aaron Anderberg and Cory Mason Phipps, and former Mistress and the Misters guitarist Chris Henderson, the trio makes a sound that is playful and irreverent, with that signature driving bass that was so characteristic of Cyrus. They make upbeat rock songs that are kooky and off-time, and have great talk-sing-y lyrics like "how do you know if somebody is truly crazy, and not just misunderstood Mommy didn't give enough affection and Dad was an asshole." It's a great 1990s Nada Surf type of sound. And we're kind of falling for it.”

Leah Sottile - The Inlander