[sic] Magazine

Cerebral Ballzy – Cerebral Ballzy

Owners of easily the most balls-out band name in 2011, Brooklyn 5-piece Cerebral Ballzy simply wish it were the 80s and that they called DC home. So evident is their mainlining of genre godfathers Bad Brains and Minor Threat that no single nihilistic thrash in the band’s arsenal can be said to be without precedence.

The key then to pastiche? Knowing that it’s dumb and embracing it with abandon all the same. These 12 brief and explosive cuts therefore do just that, bruising where they don’t draw blood. The band’s theatrics thus inviting the glare of popular opinion, the spotlight reveals little pretense. These guys mean it. They’re just an anachronism from the out-and-out thrash of their “Don’t Tell Me What To Do” to the peculiarly-voiced “Drug Myself Dumb” all the way to the damn viral energy of their “Cutting Class”.

Frontman Honor Titus duly spits sound-bites attributable to anti-establishmentarianism, and, in between, tales are recounted of pizza, drugs and skating (including outro recordings of boards in action), all at break-neck speed. There’s a certain nag throughout though that, despite all their fish-hooking, this is aggressive punk for people who don’t really listen to that sort of thing, thus partially earning Cerebral Ballzy their “hardcore for hipsters” tag.

Of the current crop similarly tarred, they are however definitely the most consistently hardcore. The precocious Iceage are more credible to these ears, but equally support their brand with raw no-wave post-punk. And, at the other end of the spectrum, the inimitable Fucked Up are in a world of their own entirely doing some sort of hardc-opera.

Not that any of this really matters because Cerebral Ballzy, their detractions aside, more than distinguish themselves, and do so frequently. For example, on the single “Insufficient Fare”, during a momentary lapse of pace, producer Joby Ford (frontman with ‘core kings The Bronx ) allows a strong guitar solo to flourish. Maybe then there is more to Cerebral Ballzy than brawn, but the explosive ‘On The Run’ doesn’t prove it, choosing instead to rip out some tight Black Flag , and neither does the bad-taste punning of “Office Rocker” deviate far from the path.

What Cerebral Ballzy the record does offer is a distinct whetting of the appetite. These are tracks made in and for a sweaty basement. Though the band’s extreme edge has been slightly blunted on record, moments such as the vital break in “Don’t Look My Way” are tailor made for heavy pit action, and practically demand your future attendance as a result.

Advised downloads: “Insufficient Fare” and “Cutting Class”.

~Cerebral Ballzy is out now on Cooking Vinyl .~

Cerebral Ballzy @ myspace

Cerebral Ballzy @ soundcloud