Friday, February 24, 2012

Balls - Chameleon

Balls - “Chameleon” , 2008 (BLP)

When this digipak fell out of my review packet I couldn’t tell whether the band name was Chameleon or Balls.  Either way I didn’t have high hopes as both names seem equally uninspired and immediately decided this would be the last review CD I listen to.  Then a look at the press sheet reveals that Balls are Swedish.  My hopes are up as in recent years Sweden has produced a great many quality rock, punk and metal bands.

I shove this Balls  album and unfortunately my initial instinct is confirmed.  The album opens with the AC/DC inspired “Camper” and Björn Lodin does a reasonable Brian Johnson imitation for 2 minutes but then his voice breaks into sounding like a man with the flu in need of blowing his nose.  He’s the major deficit on “Chameleon”.  The press sheet writer’s thesaurus must have listed terrible as a synonym for distinctive.  That’s how his voice is described.  Balls play W inspired hard rock so the awful voice is too often just not suited to the music.  The second song “Chameleon” has King's X backing harmonies which only serve to point out how awful this guy’s voice.  They’re really good.  There is a punchy guitar sound here and there all over the album but it’s not present enough to give the listener a needed rest from those awful vocals.  “Jealousy” sounds like it could have been a mid eighties hard rock radio hit.  There is some great soloing and backing vocals on “Locked Up and Crazy”.

Looking at the band photo, the  bass player and drummer are about twenty years younger than the rest of the band who should have known better than release this album. The drum and bass sounds are often inaudible or just plain missing.  Like those Idol television shows this album offers the challenge to see how much you can listen to without wincing.


Balls on myspace

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