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Cerebral Ballzy: Cerebral Ballzy

Young NYC punks fight for their right to party like it’s 1986.

Earning rave reviews in their native New York City for their refreshingly anti-hip image, spotty skatepunk quartet Cerebral Ballzy make exactly the kind of nihilistic hooligan racket we might expect from their willfully moronic and childishly offensive name.

This debut album throws a ton of mud at the wall, most of it at breakneck speed, but not much sticks. Super-fast sludge-punk teen-rebel yells such as Cutting Class, Puke Song and Sk8 All Day are exhilarating on a superficial cartoon level, but ultimately say nothing that the Ramones, Bad Brains or early Beastie Boys have not already said with far more wit and originality.

Junkie For Her delivers more riff-slamming cathartic rage, but the vintage hardcore hinterland Cerebral Ballzy draw from is essentially as conservative as a Celine Dion album nowadays.

They clearly have energy and attitude to burn, but will only merit their overhyped profile when they finally move beyond this dumb, derivative, adolescent phase.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.