Following up on their explosive debut, Cerebral Ballzy return with a more languid style on their sophomore album, Jaded & Faded. Where 2011's self-titled effort was a driving, pedal-to-the-floorboards ripper, this album feels looser and more confident. Rather than rush through every song, Cerebral Ballzy give their gritty compositions more time to open up, a change likely spurred on by producer Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio). Having worked with acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sitek is no stranger to helping melody shine through a little fuzz and grime without leaving the album sounding too polished. Clocking in at an unprecedented (for the band, at least) 3:12, "Lonely as America" feels like a prime example of this new approach, with its leisurely vocals and melodic chorus. Although they've made some changes to their sounds, fans don't have to worry about Jaded & Faded being a total overhaul. Frenzied tracks like "Parade of Idiots" and "Speed Wobbles" are fiery tributes to the hardcore influence of groups like Black Flag that informed their previous work. Like watching a public speaker grow from a navel-gazing beginner to a self-assured veteran, Cerebral Ballzy's transition as artists finds them growing bolder and more fearless in their creative pursuits. While this might mean that Jaded & Faded lacks the reckless energy of its precursor, it's ultimately a more adventurous and interesting album because of it, proving that Cerebral Ballzy are more than just a group of guys with a keen interest in hardcore.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney