More infatuated with the image of pop music than its sound, B.A.L.L. set out to satirize bloated '70s rock in all of its glory. And it wasn't Dark Side of the Moon that was their target; it was George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh, as well as T. Rex and Bob Dylan. The cover of their second album, Bird, lampooned the Beatles' "butcher cover" for Yesterday and Today.

Not surprisingly, B.A.L.L. featured two superstars of the American indie underground -- ex-Shockabilly guitarist Kramer, and former Half Japanese and Velvet Monkeys guitarist Don Fleming. Along with their two drummers, David Licht (also of Shockabilly) and Jay Spiegel (also of Half Japanese), the band cranked out four albums of driving guitars soaking in distortion with a relentless beat. After their final album in 1990, the group split with Kramer pursuing production work for his Shimmy Disc record label among other side projects like Bongwater; Fleming became a highly regarded record producer (Sonic Youth, the Posies, Alice Cooper) and formed another band, Gumball. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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