Brains, Brawn, Guitars

Posted October 14, 2015 by The Argonaut in This Week

Cerebral Ballzy injects the Del Monte Speakeasy with a concentrated dose of punk

Straight Outta Brooklyn: Cerebral Ballzy frontman Honor Titus

Straight Outta Brooklyn: Cerebral Ballzy frontman Honor Titus

When was the last time a punk rock outfit with power pop sensibilities performed in a legit speakeasy?

Not the kind that say they’re speakeasies and have been operating since 2010, but the kind that actually operated during those dark times when tossing back a few was forbidden by law?

The answer could be never — until now. On Thursday, Oct. 22, the Del Monte Speakeasy welcomes Brooklyn’s own Cerebral Ballzy to their hallowed space under The Townhouse for an evening full of elbows, torn T-shirts and safety pins.

The Townhouse opened in 1915 and the hidden basement bar below the floor housed many a drinker during Prohibition. The beauty of the Del Monte is not only in its rich history, but that fact that original owner Cesar Menotti really didn’t care too much about honoring the stringent liquor laws of the time. While he made attempts to legitimize the Townhouse by turning it into a grocery store, locals knew the Del Monte was the spot for some proper hooch.

Now, imagine a well-choreographed tumble down a flight of stairs. Violent, gripping, and relief when it’s all over … only to fall down again. That’s what Cerebral Ballzy sounds like. The four-piece unleashes a hurricane of distortion one minute then downtempo moodiness the next. Hardcore to harmonic in an instant.

When asked what it’ll be like performing in
a windowless, closed-quarters speakeasy, Cerebral Ballzy bassist Melvin Honore says “intense … like getting a concentrated dose of your favorite anything.”

Be that a dose of alcohol or punk-fueled
animosity, the Del Monte will play home to both, if only for one evening.

— Ian Joulain
Red Bull Sound Select presents Cerebral Ballzy on Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice. Tickets are $3 with RSVP at or $12 without. Doors open at 8 p.m. for a bill that also includes punkers HO9909 and rapper Fat Tony.


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