Review: Speed Ball – Speed Ball Is Dead (self-released, Jul 10)

When it comes to extreme music, the blender analogy is pretty overused. Sure, harsh or loud or fast music can be dizzying and cacophonous, but it takes a special sort of auditory chaos to truly sound like the music is being hurled around in a blender. Speed Ball Is Dead, the (oxymoronic) most recent release from Australia noisecore quintet Speed Ball, fits that description. Through the crunchy lo-fi murk it’s often impossible to discern whether the spastic outbursts are governed by any semblance of structure or are just completely arrhythmic blasts. The harshest elements are the ones that surface in the muck most frequently: the broken guitar eviscerations, slashing cymbals, and entirely unhinged, desperate moans give this ten minute long frenzy plenty of sharp edges. These elements really do sound like metal blades knifing through the distorted mass that surrounds them, and the effect is quite overwhelming—and yes, almost cyclical. This makes the otherwise homogeneous duration of Speed Ball Is Dead engaging and visceral throughout. Though they seem to want to convince you of the opposite, Speed Ball is not dead, and boy oh boy are they loud.

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