Ball - Ball album review

Mysterious Swedes make a hell of a debut

Cover art for Ball - Ball album

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A colourful backstory adds an extra frisson to any rock’n’roll tune, so we won’t dig too deep under Ball’s claim that their leader Syre Ball was previously “behind some extremely subversive underground occult groups”. Whatever the truth, their first long-player certainly has a thrilling touch of evil.

We’re sucked helplessly inside Speeding’s ‘trip to hell’ by a frantic thrash-punk riff before it melts into a swirling maelstrom of malevolent bass and writhing guitar psychedelics, underpinned by a loose-limbed stoner rock groove.

While Ball clearly love a good three-chord riff, this is no back-to-basics affair. SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“5cf875c1-b219-4a35-8241-828781ca132d” id=“f343ef63-c3e2-43f4-b739-01fce8010e34”>Satanas’s chugging Iommi-esque motif is cloaked in atmospheric keyboards, then hypnotises further with the help of sound effects from motorbikes, arcade pinball, church bells and thunderstorms, plus guitar solos so filthy-sounding they might well have just been dredged up from a newly dug grave. Magnificent.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock