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EXTRABALLE (Buy CDs by this artist)
Extraballe EP (Fr. Carrere) 1979
Sales Romances (Fr. CBS) 1980
Extraballe (Fr. CBS) 1981

On their self-titled EP, Extraballe — whose drummer at the time was Michel Peyronel, brother of Heavy Metal Kids/UFO keyboardist Danny — offered high-speed refried punk-a-boogie with hot axework and little else. Thereafter, the band became nothing more than a name owned by vocalist John Ickx (real name: Jean Robert Jovenet), who wrote the songs. Just about on key, Ickx's French speak-singing covers most typical punk subjects (sex, violence, power, movies) plus a couple of less-likely topics for a young Frenchman. There's potent high-energy accompaniment with lots of organ and guitar vying for domination of the serviceable tunes. (The temporary band for Sales Romances included one-time Be-Bop Deluxe batteur Simon Fox; Ian Dury sideman Davey Payne blew some sax.) Ickx formed a different band for the Extraballe album; a pity he couldn't update the sound more.

[Jim Green]
   See also A Split-Second