Chris Ball

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I’m an ageing rocker who has been going to concerts and buying records for over 30 years. I used to write for Metal Hammer, then briefly another magazine that went down to the bottom of the ocean with that fat crook Robert Maxwell.

I gave up for a while. Experimented with listening to dance music, hip hop and indie rock. It broadened my horizons and I had a lot of fun, but when I reached my late 30’s I realised I was living a kind of cultural lie. I love rock music I realised, much of it deeply unfashionable, but fuck it, I’m old enough now not to care. In the meantime I’d become a father, I now have two boys, and accumulated several more tattoos, middle-aged spread and a healthy dislike of modern pop music and the facile celebrity obsessed industry that fuels it.

So I’m an Essex geezer who’s returned to his roots in more ways than one, I live on the coast after having spent 20 years living in East London. Don’t let the tatts and West Ham shirt fool you though. I love Japanese ukiyo-e art and haiku poetry, impressionist art, the works of Alan Moore and Salman Rushdie, botany and bird watching. I still go to gigs as often as my family, liver and bank balance will allow.

My all time favourite bands and artists are The National, The Drive By Truckers, The Who, Wilco, Randy Newman, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzy, Celtic Frost, Slipknot, Public Enemy, Warren Zevon, Queens of the Stone Age, The Handsome Family, AC/DC, Lykke Li, Laura Veirs, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath and Black Sabbath.

Recent faves include Bo Ningen, Windhand, Witch Mountain, St Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Public Service Broadcast, Ghost Poet, Triptykon, Matthew E White and Courtney Barnett.

Tell me yours.

 

 

Articles by Chris Ball

iron witch a harrowed dawn

Iron Witch – A Harrowed Dawn

Iron Witch are not short on displaying attack or skill, but there’s a lack of real flair to elevate this into ‘must hear’ territory. – By Chris Ball

Luke Roberts - Sunlit Cross

Luke Roberts – Sunlit Cross

Painfully honest and admirably single minded, Luke Roberts sounds like a man with his shit together on Sunlit Cross. By Chris Ball

king-dude-sex

King Dude – Sex

‘Sex’ is a diverse and entertaining set of songs sure to seduce your ears, whatever your kink. – Bu Chris Ball

Church of the Cosmic Skull - Is Satan Real?

Church of the Cosmic Skull – Is Satan Real?

This album is perfect and is, for my money, the best British hard rock debut since the Temperance Movement’s self-titled opus in 2013. By Chris Ball

Goblin Cock - Necronomidonkeykongimicon

Goblin Cock – Necronomidonkeykongimicon

Maybe you can start your journey here into the world of Rob Crow music. If your already a fan, then be assured – with ‘Necronomidonkeykongimicon’ normal service has resumed! – By Chris Ball

Interview: Tony Reed from Mos Generator

Earlier this year, Mos Generator released yet another storming album in ‘Abysinnia’. We asked long time fan Chris Ball to compile some questions and we sent them off to main man Tony Reed. Read about Tony making the biggest and hardest decision in the band’s history, exploding heads, Bowie, Baby Metal and much more.

XII Boar – Beyond The Valley of The Triclops

This is a tremendously enjoyable and accomplished album and has several twelve gauge gigantic tunes – it has the backbone and spare ribs of one tasty hog roast! – By Chris Ball

Six Feet Under – Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest

Wouldn’t these classic metal songs be vastly improved, you’ve probably been thinking, if they were sung by a man who appears to be chewing cotton wool whilst being violently sick? – By Chris Ball

mos generator - abysinnia

Mos Generator – Abyssinia

If you love hard rock then you love Mos Generator, you just may not know it yet. Tony Reed and his new band mates have produced another set of tunes to cherish, whilst furiously playing air guitar… – By Chris Ball

gojira - magma

Gojira – Magma

Make no mistake, Gojira have created a very good new album in ‘Magma’… Gojira’s time is come. I hope they enjoy the ride and don’t fuck it up. – By Chris Ball

Raging Speedhorn -Lost Ritual

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Yes! The Corby crushers return! Raging Speedhorn have produced not just the best album of their career, but one of the metal albums of the year. – By Chris Ball

EAGULLS - Ullages

Eagulls – Ullages

The inherent miserablism of the band means that despite all the gauzy dreaminess of the music the songs remain largely earthbound and stubbornly unlovable. By Chris Ball.

Seratones - Get Gone

The Seratones – Get Gone

Straight-up-no-messing rock n’roll, satisfaction guaranteed delight. A MIGHTY fine début album, in fact my début album of the year, thus far. By Chris Ball

Hey Colossus - All The Humans (Are Losing Control)

Hey Colossus – All The Humans (Are Losing Control)

Not just a nod to the future, but a sterling advertisement for the bands recent past, I think Hey Colossus can consider their dark works to be done. – By Chris Ball

Interview: Ann Courtney from Mother Feather

New York City ‘pop cock rock’ sensation Mother Feather are about to release their début album on Metal Blade Records. Front woman Ann Courtney kindly agreed to talk to Chris Ball, despite him comparing her to Shania Twain.

Mother Feather

Mother Feather – Mother Feather

The very best way to hear Mother Feather would be to hear them, unannounced, on the radio, for if you have a single pop-loving bone in your body you will fall for their irresistible tunes. – By Chris Ball

Girl Sweat – Bad Happenings

Filthy, psychobilly-tinged garage rock from Stockton On Tees. All your favourite deranged alt-rock weirdos are represented. Play spot the influence bingo or party until you puke – the choice is yours: Age and experience dependent. – By Chris Ball

Gorilla / Grifter – Gorilla vs Grifter

This isn’t supposed to be tasteful, it’s supposed to be rock ‘n’ roll. Job done. – By Chris Ball

Black Black Black – Altered States of Death and Grace

The record has a very drum heavy sound, which works out well for the John Bonham-aping caveman wallop of ‘Exorcist Everything’, but in general leaves you with the feeling that some passion is being held back. If Byers voice was lunging from the speakers, ripping your face off, this set of songs would get by on nutty charm alone, but as it is it’s rather Beige, Beige, Beige. By Chris Ball

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

What Iggy has done on Post Pop Depression is given himself the best opportunity he can to create one last successful rock album. In turning to Joshua Homme, one of the most well connected and talented guys currently working in rock, and huge fan of Iggy’s work, is surround himself with sympathetic group of collaborators who would do whatever it took to make a great Iggy Pop record. By Chris Ball

Richmond Fontaine – You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To

In a genre perhaps blessed with more great songwriters than any other, Willy Vlautin is still a rare and impressive talent and Richmond Fontaine have produced yet another set of memorable, deeply human songs. By Chris Ball

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