The Beer, The Sweat, The Tears…
Cerebral Ballzy - Live At The Garage by Marc Sethi

With a debut album only 19-minutes in length and critical opinion divided, it’s with a curious mind that Clash stomps down the rain-drenched streets of Islington and enters The Garage. It’s time to catch Cerebral Ballzy in the flesh, and with them being a band of punk-persuasion, a live show appears the only way to truly judge their merits. Already infamous for their love of pizza, skateboarding and shagging our rosy-cheeked woman, the New York quintet certainly live up to an image.

Before the main course, we’re of course served the starters – personified by Throwing Up. Taking to the stage, the trio belt out their nasty short odes to medicine and period issues with punk’s simplicity. A chirpy bass player and wired drummer don’t help perk up a sullen front woman, which is a shame; on a good day, with the right cocktail inside the crowd, this nineties-edged noise would go down a treat.

Flats’ energy, drumming, and demand for attention makes an instant improvement sonically. Daniel Devine’s scream wakes up the small capacity crowd, and with the occasional Sabbath-styled groove there is more on offer to get heads rocking. If anything, sticking too religiously to a breakneck speed the songs end just as you’re getting into them.

With the band mingling in the audience before hand, the main event has no airs or graces as they stagger onto the stage with little fanfare. A night filled with abrupt portraits of extreme rage and frustration, Cerebral Ballzy admirably standout by just going ape shit.

It’s hard to ignore a six-foot Brooklyn native screaming in your face while throwing cans of Carlsberg at girls – arresting would be the word. Somewhere between being elegantly wasted and fully trashed, the band rip into their debut album.

With moshing erupting from the start, numbers such as ‘Cutting Class’ and ‘Sk8 All Day’ feed the frenzy. The perfect gig combination of age-old rocker, young upstarts and fat goths provides non-stop chaos, as they slam off each other like demonic pinballs. “I’m not a role model!” slurs vocalist Honor Titus, before demanding a circle pit in an area that, although too small to swing a cat, is plenty big enough to throw a fist.

Coming in at just under half an hour, Cerebral Ballzy’s set is done but certainly not forgotten. With the majority of their back catalogue spent, there is little else for them to do than retreat backstage with a few of their fans in tow to continue the night’s debauchery. Smoke bellowing from their dressing room, the majority of the crowd remain and hit the bar to discuss what the hell just happened.

Words by Sam Walker-Smart
Photos by Marc Sethi

View a full photo gallery from Cerebral Ballzy's gig HERE.

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