Speedball Baby

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Led by singer Ron Ward, New York, USA’s Speedball Baby offer a throwback to the loosely hinged gutter rock ‘n’ roll of the Stooges and the MC5. A more contemporaneous comparison might be the Birthday Party, as evidenced by the twisted rockabilly of tracks such as ‘Toss My Salad’ on their 1996 debut album, Cinema!. The seeds of the band’s future were sown when Matt Verta-Ray (bass) left his previous employers, Madder Rose. It was his concept to start a less sedate unit meshing the blues with primal rockabilly, but he had to wait until meeting Ward (also from Boston, and formerly the drummer in Blood Oranges) at a mutual friend’s wedding. The band’s line-up was completed with the addition of bass player Ali Smith and drummer Dave Roy. They concentrated on cultivating a reputation for their frenzied New York shows, while two independently released EPs (Speedball Baby and Get Straight For The Last Supper) won over critics in the...

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