Published Jun 13, 2014From the record company that brought you Har Mar Superstar's latest comes Cerebral Ballzy's sophomore (and sophomoric) album Jaded & Faded. The title is likely a reference to the band's clothes, as the record is steeped in superficiality. Producer Dave Sitek, hot off his excellent work with Kelis, is present enough here to be a credit on the press release, but there's not much on Jaded & Faded that would even suggest he was in the room, given how great his band, TV on the Radio, are handling punchy, urgent songs. Why would Cerebral Ballzy even bother with Sitek on this record if they didn't want to fill out all that empty space with (welcome) horns, organs and noise?
Sitek does give the low-end a bit of a boost, which is a welcome addition to Cerebral Ballzy's rather flat, sloppy sound. The slop doesn't even stick though, as vocalist Honor Titus' phoned-in performance puts additional pressure on the band to make up for his lack of energy, a task that they're not up to here. There are very few hooks on this record, making any stand out moments seem monumental. They've got the speed, the outfits and the record collection, but Cerebral Ballzy's interpretation of hardcore punk never comes off as more than cartoony. (Cult)