Hold onto your hats and any other loose objects because those lovable eccentric Thrashers, Belushi Speed Ball from Louisville, are back with another album, the eight-track, twenty-eight-minute, What, Us Worry?
What, Us Worry? is another witty meld of crossover Thrash which musically they describe as “The Sistine Chapel of generic cliché crossover Thrash.”
Belushi Speed Ball – What, Us Worry? (sonaBLAST! Records)
Release Date: 27 May 2022
Words: Jools Green
“Not only is it our best work to date,” Belushi Speed Ball said, “but we tricked a plethora of talent to be a part of the album.” Were they tricked, blackmailed or bribed?
I don’t know, but they’ve definitely got a few impressive guests for this album. There is also, once again, as is their way, copious amounts of ridiculously entertaining, often logic-defying, in-between track banter, which, whilst a little lengthy, does add some interesting and funny background to the tracks.
What, Us Worry? opens on the album single, Ripping Off Municipal Waste, which features some impressive lead guitar work from Tony Barhoum of New Jersey Thrashers Condition Critical. Lyrically it owns up to “ripping off the Waste.” Musically it’s a catchy, dynamic offering that is as addictive as it is witty and could be considered as a tribute to the Waste (but that wouldn’t be anywhere near as funny a concept).
Once again, there is a healthy dose of SpongeBob inspired tracks, which, given that I am a bit of a SpongeBob fan, makes this album an automatic winner with me. Firstly, Tattletale Strangler, which features their second guest musician on lead guitar, Jamison “Beefcake the Mighty” Land (ex: GWAR), who drops a couple of blistering leadwork bursts.
This tells the tale of how SpongeBob, after inviting him unwittingly into his home, defeated the Tattletale Strangler with only the power of annoying stupidity.
Delivered predominantly in a dynamically driving Thrash manner, it is musically both addictive and brilliant, thanks to a catchy repeat riff that forms the track’s backbone.
Next Magic Conch, inspired by the episode where SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward find themselves lost in the kelp forest with only the advice of the Magic Conch to help them. An up-tempo punchy driver with soaring mid-point leadwork, again hugely addictive. Just remember… “Never question the wisdom of the Magic Conch, All hail the Magic Conch!!”
Glass Bones and Paper Skin II, is a reworking/sequel, “self-rip off” of Glass Bones and Paper Skin, from Stella 1 and 2. Vinny promises in the between track banter that “Glass Bones and Paper Skin II will make Glass Bones and Paper Skin I sound like Glass Bones and Paper Skin III, in the same way that my cat Stella 2 makes Stella 1 seem like Stella 3.” Are you following that? No? Me neither.
But it’s great to hear a reworking of this brutally crushing Hardcore Thrashing beast of a track which was one of my favourites from the previous album.
Butter and Pretty Dresses features the final guest, with lead guitar courtesy of Nick Burks of Savage Master, an unrelenting, crushing Thrash beast of massively engaging and destroying capabilities.
With Dog Birthday Is Dead, they veer off in a slightly different direction and deliver a happy and catchy “silly pop/skate punk parody” before returning to Belushi normality with the driving Thrasher, Super Saiyan Vegeta Is a Good Dad.
And finally, if things haven’t reached sufficiently insane proportions for you, the final track is the four and a half minute Belushi Speed Grind. This is a whole Grindcore album within a single track, delivered, naturally, at a breakneck speed and which, when you think of it, is good value for money because you are getting two albums for the price of one.
This is a lot better, or at least funnier than some of the Grindcore albums I’ve heard… and possibly a longer duration at over four minutes and about nine tracks …. But who’s counting?
What, Us Worry? was mastered once again by Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust), recorded and mixed by Chase Bensing, with artwork by Andrei Bouzikov, who also created Municipal Waste’s Art of Partying artwork.
Belushi Speed Ball once again deliver an outrageously entertaining offering that will be available as a CD, digital download and stream from Bandcamp – belushispeedball.bandcamp.com/
Also, because they love a novelty extra with their releases, it’s also available on Gameboy Advanced, which includes the album and the brand-new game Diablo Dragon II.