The Balls – Come Out Swingin’ (CD)

“Dog Eat Dog” starts off in a way that sounds more in tune with progressive metal than anything else heard in popular music lately. There are also nods to country-rock and a little bit of the earthy-punk that acts like Fugazi and Husker Du were known for; The Balls tell a tremendously detailed story with only three minutes of music, to start off “Come Out Swingin’”. The guitar is the main focus to “Come Out Swingin’”; Nick’s work on this disc should not only be seen as an amazing bit of guitar riffery but also as some of the most successful transference of guitars into a workable narrative. The diversity in which the band works under on “Come Out Swingin’” is something that cannot be paralleled; even as the tracks increase in times up to the near-seven minute runtime of “Last Ride”, the interest that individuals have in The Balls does not decrease. In a sense, the interest increases as the band is increasingly less constrained by a time component to their music.

This is The Outlaws if the Outlaws were around, making their first tracks today. The inclusion of two different things on “Come Out Swingin’” make this disc even more salient and impressive to listeners, and those are the live version of “Link” and their version of “Pachelballs” (Pachelbel’s “Canon”, to be specific). The fact that the band can incorporate such different styles of music into their rock-based approach shows that the talent that they exhibit on this disc is merely a fraction of what courses through their veins at any one given second.

There may not be any vocals on the disc, but there does not need to be and if there were, the enjoyment that individuals could take from the modified compositions would drastically decrease. The disc is almost fifty minutes long, but this is just not enough for individuals to be sated. Like the guitar-heavy surf rock of Dick Dale, the replay value is high but individuals will greedily crave more as soon as the disc ends. For fans of the guitar, of progressive rock, or of solid music in any format, “Come Out Swingin’” is a great introduction for most individuals to the sly hard rock stylings of The Balls. Here’s to hoping that the band comes out with more of this guitar riffery and keeps the vocals as far away from their music as they can; there is no need to pollute a great product.

Top Tracks: Last Ride, Link (Live)

Rating: 7.0/10

The Balls – Come Out Swingin’ / 2006 Lonely Puppy / 13 Tracks / http://www.ballsrock.com / Reviewed 25 May 2006

[JMcQ]

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