No Balls 2019
Fifteen years and seven albums down the line, Swedish punk combo concentrate their energies on going for the jugular and serve up the very essence of urban life.
Squeezing ten songs into a dozen minutes must be no mean feat but when the Gothenburg band, whose every member’s nom de guerre is Chuck, have fun, they don’t give a fuck about any perceived difficulties. It’s no wonder, then, that this album, starting with the very promising announcement – “Fasten your seat belts: it’s going to be a bumpy night!” – ends with a track titled “Begging For More” because the listener will inevitably gasp for air and want another dose of tunes which cast a glance over the group’s entire career. Being brief, “Little Demon II” may pick up where the ensemble’s 2005 debut left off, yet there’s elegance and a dance groove the original piece could only dream of, while serrated riffs are still there, too.
But the bumps can never get smooth, so if handclaps help whip “Back It Up” into a frenzy without a sense of danger, thanks to Chuck The Ripper and Chuck Rooster’s guitar interplay, and the foot-stomping “A Thief And A Liar” throbs with sexual pleasure, “One Hand On The Hip” has a very menacing blues in its heart, and the nursery rhyme of “Crashing Down The Stairs” takes Chuck Ransom’s voice to the edge of deadly delirium. With “Second To None” rocking like hell, nobody would accuse the quintet of boasting in vain, and though they claim that “Itchy Finger” is a middle one, the artists’ defiance feels deliciously spectacular. A fine slab of punk.