Lobby Loyde is the single most important person in Australian rock n’ roll history. Before he went on to produce seminal records by The Sunnyboys, X and Depression, Lobby played in The Wild Cherries, Purple Hearts, Aztecs and even did time in Rose Tattoo. Despite this massive list of accomplishments, the Coloured Balls debut LP from 1973 might be the crowning glory of the lot.
Ball Power is an exercise in excess: copious amounts of beer, thick as guts guitar solos and balls. CB’s brew is equal parts boogie, psych blues and meat and potatoes rock, all served hard. Most notably though, Ball Power predates the aggressively anti-authoritarian ethos and frantic pace of punk by a good four years. ‘Mama Don’t You Get Me Wrong’ and ‘Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’, two of the album’s finest moments, clock in at under two minutes apiece. While a good deal of the music spawned from the riotous UK sounds juvenile and cartoonish from a current perspective, time has rendered Coloured Balls no less tough. They sound like they’ve been smoking a pack of White Ox rollies every day since ’73 and could still drink you under the table.
The album’s peaks are numerous, among them the hard-cunt riffage of ‘Human Being’, and the guitar via theremin overdose that is ‘That’s What Mama Said’ is one of rock music’s highlights, period. It’s over ten-minute length is like very little that preceded it (or came after admittedly). It takes their cumulative sound to its furthest possible extreme, fittingly closing the album with the aural equivalent of speeding down a highway stoned outta your skull into the void of the ether.
After numerous labels failed attempts to get a reissue off the ground, Sing Sing have done a legendary job in repackaging Ball Power. From the authentically rough cardboard gatefold featuring the classic image of the mulleted ‘Balls to the page of liners by Ian McFarlane, the thing looks and, most importantly, sounds as it should. Buy the damn record or have your citizenship revoked.
Label: Sing Sing Records
Release Date: December 2012 (original released in 1973)