Cerebral Ballzy - Cerebral Ballzy

by Amy Putman Rating:9 Release Date:2011-08-08

Nowadays punk has a bad name. Ska has swallowed the fans that would once have been drawn to it and the curious few are often put off by the average contemporary 'punk' band who thrash around open mic nights across the western world, using punk as an excuse for poor playing and bad dress. Young teens are drawn to it more for the rebellious style than the musical quality and bands often seem more nostalgic than angry; in other words, an insipid copy of the original punks. They seem lacklustre and thrown together from clichés rather than reaction to genuine life experience. Punk's glorious experiment with passion and amusicality seems to have been reduced to poor timing and a penchant for baseness. The thrashing that once represented a tearing down of tradition and youth-led revolution now seems obvious and immature.

At first glance, Cerebral Ballzy are no better than this. The singer has a flat, weak voice and the balance is jarring, as though one half of the band is warring with the other, which would be fine if only they had an overriding beat… but they don't. I nearly dismissed them and walked away. I nearly tattooed "Punk is bollocks. Punk is dead" on my hand. I nearly cried in frustration. The moment I left the room, however, the songs fought back with a vengeance. Twelve hours and several white Russians later and they were still striding gloriously, balls to the wind, through my head. I was in love.

What I'm trying to express is that, in spite of their over-eagerness naivety and total lack of singing talent, Cerebral Ballzy has managed to achieve something that no other band has managed in at least the last decade. I don't know what devil they had to swear at on a crossroads but they've got it; they ARE the spirit of punk. Their energy bounces and bounds around your mind. You want to chase them over a battlefield, screaming obscenities at old people, swigging vodka from the bottle (or possibly meths), snorting coke off midgets and kicking everyone in the face. This album is a joyous victory rant for the strong spirit of rebellion that lurks ready in anticipation beneath the misery of recession. This is a guttural animal cry of bloodlust into the night. This is what orgasmic hate-fuck sounds like. It is so sumptuous that it makes me angry with bands like Rancid for not quite making it. I am about to wage a war of terror on The Clash for being second best.

Cerebral Ballzy are like a cross between Wreckless Eric and Buzzcocks with a dash of Ramones. As far as I'm concerned, that's a massive compliment. I plan to listen to them nearly constantly over the next few weeks as each time I listen I discover another gem of originality buried in the sexy rough sand of their pure energy. They are like masturbating chimplets tumbling over each other in their eagerness for bananas, but with a clear knowledge of their genre that lends them a maturity other contemporary punks skip over. If you could be both impulsive, off the cuff eccentric madmen, and considered perfectionists, this would be the result.

I want to see them live. If their music is anything to go by, they with slaver the stage with their tongues, hurling things at the sweat drenched crowd while simultaneously focusing 100 per cent on producing some of the most exciting music of the last decade. That's an experience which greats like Dropkick Murphys would pay for. Cerebral Ballzy are better. They succeed precisely because of this blend of contradictions; the voice, the consistent puppy-like eagerness and naivety add to the glory of the incredibly catchy tunes. They are exuberant and irreverent. One word to sum up: delicious.

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