Psychedelic punk rock trio Balothizer are taking a deeper dive into the music of Greek island, Crete with an entire adoption of unbridled joie de vivre and celebration of age-old folk tunes, shaped by a fierce protection of these values. The band’s upcoming third album PunKretan Sessions is a collection of songs that serenade the essence of life in Crete, from bathing in and riding the waves of Kissamos, to ceaseless rituals of music-making that run through the morning’s dawn.


Serta’ is the first of a string of singles to be released ahead of the album and whirls into a surf rock nonchalance and punk rebelliousness. Centuries-old Cretan rhyming couplet mantinades are coalesced into the single’s lyrics to reinforce Crete’s fierce conviction for hospitality, dissolving xenophobia and standing by newcomers in need.

In true Balothizer style, ‘Serta’ glistens with melodic turns of honey-warm vocal lilts and ornamental runs on the Cretan lute (a more percussive, parallel instrument to the oud) while the drums uphold an unrestrained joviality.

“In Crete, musicians are playing continuously and the steps of people at Cretan festive dances are non-stop. We want to keep our heavy psychedelic sounds but dig deeper into the folk roots while following these dances,” explain the band.

PunKretan Sessions follows Balothizer’s grittier fusion of folk with cutthroat punk-metal on Balothizer’s 2021 album Cretan Smash, mixed by Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, and the band’s psychedelic and hypnotic propulsion of their debut album, Cretan Music From Hell. With the pandemic bringing a time of change and reorder for the planet and humanity, so had it wrought a transformation for Balothizer both in the band’s location as well as its members. Balothizer’s sound moved out of London, the city where they began and whose jazz and “world music” renaissance enveloped them, to uncover old roots in Greece. Here, vocalist and bassist Pavlos ‘Pav Mav’ Mavromatakis (of Electric Litany, The Turbans) united with Cretan natives Stelios Mylonakis on Cretan lute and Michalis Saganis on drums and together the trio bring forth Balothizer’s curiosity for the punk music of Crete.

Catch Balothizer this summer:

  • 2 July - Cretan Gunners Festival, Crete, Greece
  • 10 July - Rock The South, Marsascala, Malta
  • 28 July - Fengaros Festival, Kato Drys, Cyprus

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