Swedish trio Ball releases its debut album Friday, May 19 via the Horny imprint and we have a premiere of the entire record for you now. Having issued the acclaimed 7” Fyre in 2015, Ball quickly focused its energies on writing one of the dirtiest, nastiest efforts to climb from the rock’s scuz coated underbelly. Early metal and psychedelic sounds from the 1970s are tightly woven into the throbbing nucleotides of Ball’s DNA, but the mysterious trio dives deeper into the darkness, exploring the lure of the occult, the hallucinatory properties of high volumes and, per the outfit’s moniker, hedonistic sexuality.
Listeners looking for easy comparisons to draw between this outfit and the music they already know will encounter some difficulties. “Fyre” recalls Gene Simmons’ demonic leanings during Kiss’ first decade: The earth rumbling riffs and rhythms containing all the subtly of a firebombing campaign. But the track’s hellish-cum-hallowed keyboard figures evoke memories of Deep Purple at its most dramatic and catharsis bringing. Those comparisons only help for a short time as the piece evolves into something alternately more soulful and far witchier than either of those acts could have imagined.
There’s something positively hair-raising at work during “Speeding” and “Satanas”, both of which are as powerful and transformative as the earth wounding sounds heard on Bathory’s 1987 effort Under the Sign of the Black Mark. Your hair stands on end, your pulse quickens, and you find yourself contemplating the fine line between horror and hope. Chalk that up to Ball’s collective interest in horror movies and their ability to marry séance and seduction. This trio is perhaps more directly influenced by soundtracks to schlocky Italian sex-and-death flicks than anything you can find on the shelves of your local record store. Just turn your ear toward the cauldron bubbling moments of the album’s final cut “Galaxy 666” or the noisy, pre-cognitive howler “Balling”, which launches the entire record.
Ball’s self-titled debut, out May 19 is available in a variety of formats, including limited edition vinyl.
// Notes from the Road
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