The fourth track, “Homme Run,” off The Ballroom Thieves latest Unlovely is a beautifully succinct, deftly written call out to how far we have yet to go in terms of equality. Even the Democratic party in 2020, the political group that has been preaching gender equality ad nauseum, is offering a choice between two 70-something white males as the group’s leader. Two steps forward one step back.
Wrapped into Calin Peter’s stellar vocals is exhaustion, frustration (“I’m done”) and still a rallying call to continue the fight. It’s the perfect anthem for the world we are currently struggling through and demonstrates just how powerful a band The Ballroom Thieves have evolved into over the past half-decade. Whether slyly pushing an agenda through quieter songs or bellowing out loudly in more raucous anthems punctuated by horns, the band is not wasting a single word with their lyrics. Unlovely, easily the band’s strongest album yet, seems the tour de force the band has been building up to for years.
On this, their third LP, the trio perfectly blend their fondness for sweet harmonies, sharp political, social themes with traded off female/male vocals. Anyone who thinks folk music can’t be as blistering and incendiary as punk rock needs to spend 30 minutes with Unlovely.
The Ballroom Thieves – Unlovely/11 tracks/Nettwerk Records/2020