There are bands who do things by the book. And then there is Louisville Crossover Thrashers Belushi Speed Ball, who have “successfully thumbed their collective nose at conformism since 2013.” Belushi Speed Ball nominally play an aggressive brand of crossover Thrash, but their focus on absurdity and unorthodox aesthetics allows them to stand in a category of their own creation.
Belushi Speed Ball – Stella 1 and Stella 2 (Double EP)
Release date: 21 January 2021 (sonaBLAST! Records)
By Jools Green
Past releases of their music have been on obscure and sometimes bizarre media, including an album on a comic book, a working album for Gameboy Advance and a single housed within the bowels of a Furby. This latest offering will be no exception. In keeping with their non-conformist tradition, their newest album will be, as one of the options, released on tapestry, which includes an informational VHS tape.
‘Stella 1 and Stella 2’, named after a couple of Siamese cats, is an eight track twenty-three-minute Double EP offering, on a single CD. The reason? “No Dunkaroos”, the full length being held hostage until they get their delivery of the sugary snack. Not following the logic? Me neither. And that is kind of the whole point.
There is no logic, just brilliantly entertaining, well delivered music that is raw, eccentric, outlandish but most importantly FUN!!! A lot of Metal bands are too serious and Belushi Speed Ball are the perfect antidote.
Sound wise it is predominantly Thrash rich, with a hardcore edge. Lyrical inspirations come mostly from cartoons or films, particularly in the case of this release, several tracks inspired by Spongebob Squarepants episodes. Their hardcore interpretation of ‘Glass Bones and Paper Skin’ and ‘Wumbology‘ (where Spongebob finds a utility belt with an ‘M’ on it that, when pressed, shrinks people and when rotated to ‘W’ enlarges them), ‘Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry’ and the perils of waking a hibernating squirrel.
First one to the Krusty Krab is the winner on ‘I’m Already Halfway There’, which is all a comfort to me to find that I am not the only adult Spongebob fan….!
Then there is ‘We Are Not Thrashers, We are Hipster Posers’ which was written in response to a harsh YouTube comment left in regards to Belushi Speed Ball’s physical appearance and to sarcastically prove the point further, the track morphs into some silly Skate Punk to close.
They also touch on Black Metal, just to prove anyone can “do” Black Metal, with ‘Shut The Snarf Up Mortal’, manifesting as “Belushi Speed Ba’al”, featuring the vocal talents of William Lennon Willis laying down some “cvlt” blackened growls and roars.
In between the tracks there is a myriad of insanely humorous banter, which also helps shed a little light on this hugely entertaining “madness”.
‘Stella 1 and Stella 2’ was mastered by Joel Grind (of Toxic Holocaust) and recorded and mixed by Chase Bensing. It is available as a double EP on CD, digital streaming and tapestry from the bands BandCamp page
It is definitely not just an antidote for over serious Metal, but also for a lot of what is wrong in the world today.
We all definitely need this kind of Metal madness!!