Black Sabbath created the first commercial music I ever purchased, a life altering experience. I’ve just heard a tango version of Nativity in Black that has rewired my brain all over again. The neurosurgeon in this case is six-foot, blonde frontwoman Storm Large (described as “a Vargas pin-up girl come to life and shot up with a cocktail of PCP and rabies”) and one of her bands, the Balls.

The sound is, evidently, called “loungecore”, a strange mix of lounge music and metal/industrial sensibility. It boasts a good deal of mash-up work that could only be done by live musicians. You can’t just mash samples of Ministry’s Stigmata and Van Morrison’s Moondance and make it sound anywhere as good as the Balls do. That, and combinations of Abba and Iron Butterfly are what make Hanging With the Balls such a blast.

It seems like all the bands that are turning me on recently are from Portland, for some reason. Might be worth a trip out there.