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J. Larkin Review - Sweet receiver EP

B. Balthazar is the singer / guitar player for a criminally overlooked band called Chokebore. This EP was intended to be a teaser for a full length solo record, but it appears that plans for the LP have been scrapped (so Balthazar and company can focus on writing and recording a new Chokebore album this year) and we're left with just these three beautifully unique pop songs (that, incidentally, sound nothing like anything Chokebore have done so far) and a promise of what I can only hope will come later. I guess Balthazar put up the money himself to finance this EP because he produced it and played all of the instruments on it himself and it looks like the art was made on and printed off of someone's home computer or something. Look, instead of wasting six dollars on another "tall" cup of gourmet coffee / pack of cigarettes combo tomorrow morning like you normally do each day, why not send it to Mr. Balthazar and get a CD in return that may very well change your life (or, at the very least, make it a little more bearable)? Why not go crazy and send Punk iN My Vitamins a few dollars more for Chokebore's Black Black CD [go to to find out where to send money]? I can't say enough good things about this EP or Chokebore, so this is as good a place as any to stop writing this review already. God bless you for reading this far...

Joseph Larkin - September 2001

D. DeSmeth review - Sweet Receiver EP

It's almost as if Troy Bruno Balthazar is proving that he does hold in his writing ability the power of pop melody, and doing so without losing the identity of the songwriting style he has created for himself over the last 10 years or so in Chokebore. This Sweet Receiver EP marks the first solo release by B. Balthazar, a three-song precursor to his solo debut full length. Still the sad songs these tracks offer even more of Troy on a personal level lyrically and musically. B. Balthazar is responsible for performing all the instrumentation on the EP including piano, drums, bass, and acoustic guitar. The first two songs are acoustic guitar based yet they yield no similarities to any folk artists of the past... basically leaving it difficult to describe the songs other than they are similar to some of the quieter slower songs of Chokebore's, only acoustic and containing a stronger element of melody. The third song, Sweet Receiver, lets us hear a side of B. Balthazar that we heard in the track "Where Is the Assassin?" from Chokebore's album Black Black. The song is built from the distant slightly distorted sound of piano and B. Balthazar's naked voice uttering the words that, "they want to carry your soul away." He also shares with us lyrics like, "I keep all your energy and store it up inside me, it's nice and soft, it's just enough", expressing the idea that there is hope within the mind of this torn troubadour who has mastered the art of the sad song.

Dennis DeSmeth - 2001/02/27