New Noise Magazine is pleased to be presenting an in depth analysis of Fiesta by Ice Balloons from the band themselves. The album cover is only one hallucinogenic part of Fiesta, as the garage/noise act produced a LP full of hypnotic songs wrapped in urgent surges of instrumental music. It bleeds right away as one clicks play on the record, with “Dead Fly” steadily tapping into listeners’ brains with that pulsing drum beat. The vocals are scratchy, the performance and aesthetic feels raw, fueled with an energetic grace of punk vibes. “Pie Is Alive” features swirling drones and an unsettling atmosphere, sludgy and powerful. Prepare to be taken to a new place thanks to the eleven bangers on Fiesta.
“DEAD FLY” is the tragic ballad of a fly who has become trapped between a pane of glass and a wire screen, and sees his impending doom before him. He wistfully recalls the things in life he loved best as the life drains from his tiny body.
“PEACE BETWEEN THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS/ WORM STORY” The first half of this song imagines a reconciliation between the feuding factions of the Smothers Brothers comedy duo, while the second chronicles the perilous time when a worm washes up on the sidewalk during the rain and feels OK about it at first, but then the sun comes out and the worm reconsiders its lifestyle choices.
“SURFACE” Surface is also about a worm, but in a more dreamy, metaphorical way. It’s a coda to the last song, about the mute obsession a worm has with the earth, how it can handle the sun but only mitigated through drops of water, and how fate conspires sometimes to imperil the worm’s otherwise safe and happy existence.
“PIE IS ALIVE” is about that moment in your PCP trip where you begin to see inanimate objects as living, breathing (and even crawling) beings – in this case, a pie.
“FALLEN FAMILY” a relaxing number about a human family that mistrusts each other and has come to resent the presence of each other at a gathering. This song is being made into an animated video by the great Chicago animator JIM TRAINOR, which should be ready in the next few days.
“CALYPSO HEARTWORM” you would be forgiven for assuming this song was about an animal parasite doing a Caribbean dance, but unfortunately it’s only about a woman slipping into psychosis after running out of her medication.
“FLY ON THE BEACH” is about a fly who visits the beach and tragically falls in love with a human girl who doesn’t reciprocate the feeling.
“FIESTA” The title song from the record was recorded surreptitiously at drummer Sean Powell’s birthday party, and features most of the band laughing – prominently featuring Mr Powell’s famous cackle.
“BAH BAH BAH BAH” is about the long slow unwinding hours and the dingy despair of unemployment and the tedium of enduring soggy endless days when you feel like you might actually be a plant.
“THE WASP” tells the tale of a parasitic wasp inserting her babies into a living caterpillar, who then eat away the insides. The twist comes in the second verse, where the babies make their exit from the drained but still living caterpillar *except* for two plucky grubs who remain lodged in the caterpillar’s brain to zombify the lengthy creature, transforming it into an intimidating guardian for the emerged brood.
finally, “ERASER” is an instrumental duet featuring Kyp Malone and Rhodes Murphy recorded at Kyp’s house one nice evening.