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Cerebral Ballzy seems stuck in the sophomore slump

Album review: Cerebral Ballzy’s ‘Jaded and Faded’

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Cerebral Ballzy
Jaded and Faded
Cult Records LLC

★ (out of 5 stars)

Did someone slip this band a Percocet? The bite and snap heard on their self-titled 2011 debut has been handcuffed by numb engineering and drowsy songwriting. The result is a weird gruel that’s neither energizing nor melodic. Not a surprise when you look at the head production credits: Cerebral Ballzy swapped out Joby from the Bronx (who produced album one) for TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. I want to say, “It’s the second Damned album all over again,” but at least you could sing along to wide swaths of that dry airplane fart. Maybe taking Cereb out of New York and dropping them onto a walnut farm in Texas wasn’t the smartest move inspiration-wise. Or maybe it’s just the sophomore slump. The Damned bounced back in a big way on their third at bat, and there’s no reason to believe the same couldn’t happen for the Ballz.

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