Artist: Cerebral Ballzy
Title: Jaded & Faded
Record Label: Cult Records
After digesting the ram-raid-like sophomore LP by Cerebral Ballzy, ‘Jaded & Faded’ – it’s clear the Brooklynites are the dysfunctional single mothers that have spawned FIDLAR and SKATERS. If you were to super charge the former and force fed them the beloved pizza of the latter – the end result might be a violent case of vomiting but Cerebral Ballzy in their own dishevelled guise, can be heard in these fledging acts; skating/grinding/spewing in their wake.
Cerebral Ballzy have become renowned for whip cracking hardcore punk rock, songs about skateboarding and pizza but on ‘Jaded & Faded’ they’ve attempted to broaden their reach to snare in a wider range of topics. Top of the list is finding their place in New York, closely followed up girls. Old habits die hard though, as ‘Fast Food’ will attest. “Fast.Food.Killed.That.Dude” slurs frontman, Honor Titus. Again the five piece’s hedonistic behaviour bears its soul on ‘Pretty in the City’ with Titus punctuating the opening salvo of punk clatter with the simple “Let’s get fucked tonight”. No matter how much Ballzy want to dress up that they’re an evolved band, ‘Jaded & Faded’ still echoes the band’s legacy as being junk food gobbling hell raisers with a primitive lust for grimy punk rock. If you’re looking for anything too profound here – you’ll be disappointed. ‘Jaded & Faded’ is an album to kick off bone breaking scenes of bedlam and a good ol’ beer chugging soundtrack without the slightest whiff of meat-headedness.
On knob dwindling duties, the fivesome rubbed shoulders with uber-producer, Dave Sitek, he of TV On The Radio, and all manner of kick ass records that his finger prints grace. ‘Jaded & Faded’ maintains the vitality of the band’s eponymous debut but this time around, everything is bigger, faster and delivered with madcap impact. It’s a visceral punk sound that Cerebral Ballzy possess and a large hunk of the album speeds along like it’s been chased down a neon lit street by an angry man with a meat cleaver. Ostensibly, it would seem the NYCers decided to electrify a pool of piranhas and then toss their kit into the thrashing expanse of violent water. ‘City’s Girl’ and ‘Speed Wobbles’ flay with an ADHD burst of attention waning verve while ‘Parade of Idiots’ is propelled along with a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ acceleration. The album’s forefront is powered by the duelling riffs of Mason and Jason Bannon but the real gasoline on the campfire belongs to Melvin Honore’s relentless basslines and Tom Kogut’s octopus-limbed drumming. ‘Be Your Toy’ and ‘Fake I.D’ draft in a sludgier aesthetic, one that carries a Black Sabbath style doomy quality.
Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams