What started out as a pleasant enough Sunday has turned rather somber around these parts with news of the passing of Coloured Balls / Aztecs / Purple Hearts guitar icon Lobby Loyde. Mere virtuosity doesn’t begin to describe Loyde’s contributions to the rock’n'roll canon ; his playing, while not exactly a template for future hordes of punks, sludgesters, psych mavens and metal heads, always pointed a way forward…stylistically elemental and expansive at varying times, but more often than not, transcendent stuff.
Of the band’s ’73 LP, ‘Ball Power’, Julian Cope wrote,
˜Ball Power™ is full of raw, hard guitar rock and proto-punk with some boogie and rock™n™roll influences, and some slightly ˜progressive™ lengthier rockers. The songs and riffs are primitive and the band seem a little short on ideas, but they go at it with great gusto, and for me their direct and raw rocking charm outweighs any concerns about their limitations. People who don™t get into this sort of thing might not agree, but I think the Coloured Balls didn™t sound quite like anyone else, though arguably some slight comparisons can be made to some aspects of the Pink Fairies, the MC5, the Up, the Groundhogs (on a caveman trip), Taste, Stack Waddy, Third World War, Hammersmith Gorillas, Hard Stuff, Agnes Strange and early AC/DC.
˜Won™t You Make Up Your Mind™ [1:35] is a roughshod, snotty rock™n™roll boogie, sounding a bit like early MotÃ¶rhead, or even some of the Chiswick label punk bands that shared the ˜Long Shots, Dead Certs and Odds On Favourites™ sampler with MotÃ¶rhead, such as The Radiators From Space, but not quite as hard. Lobby sounds like he™s just gargled Drano as the lyrics splatter out of his mouth. Unhygienic!
˜Something New™ [5:05] is a plodding, evil death-dirge driven by low-down bass from hell digging in on a simple but effective prowling tyrannosaur riff like Man™s Martin Ace in a bad mood, as guitars grind and wind over the top, reinforcing and embellishing on the sole groove. œJust when you think you seen it all, there™s somethin™ new… Just when you think you seen it all, there™s somethin™ wrong… sings Lobby as it stalks on and on, seething with restrained malevolence.