Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Catholic Paws/ Catholic Pause
Well the title of Rollerball’s latest disc is highly timely, what with the old pope dying, the conclave shit, and the Catholic Church installing a former member of the Hitler Youth as their new leader. We are living in fucked up times & Rollerball’s fucked up music is entirely appropriate for them.

The packaging on this disc is beautifully letter pressed. It has great wood block prints as inserts. Also included are absolutely wonderful & hilarious portraits of the band. The music itself is as eclectic as ever. On this disc they have guest members from the crazy Italian band Ovo: they add a creepy feel to the already far-out mix.

“Erzulie” is in the tradition of “Wyoming,” from their earlier disc. It features the fantastic piano and vocals of Mae Starr. Rollerball’s trademark wall of horns of Shane & Amanda is featured. Mini-Wagonwheel has a great burping bass line while Gilles' drums rumble and crash.

“Sores” is my favorite song on the disc. It starts sounding like a creepy children song about chicken pox. “Blisters and sores, blood and gore, my baby’s got chicken pox and golden locks.” Then frenetic drum machine is added to the mix, with clattering piano and squawking horns. The song ends with a dead chicken lying near a fence.

I really dig the more dubby shit on this disc like “Coburn.” Everything floats together on this jam, with Mae’s vocal that has a weird echo on it, and the booming drum beats and subtle electronics. It has the great line, “The scent that wraps around like weight. The hand that fucks the taste.”

Rollerball has returned to their roots of home recording with this disc. I feel this style of recording well suits this band. Home recording allows Rollerball to explore the furthest reaches of their sonic galaxy. This disc finds a balance between their more far-out extraterrestrial dub, skronk-jazz, noise rock and their more down-to-earth gypsy pop. (Silber) (Dan Cohoon)