Opener "God Damn This Ugly Sound" is less an exercise in composition and more in locating, as it is a six-minute excerpt from a medical record documenting the sounds of various diseases. The rest isn't as obtuse, as it segues nicely into the looping guitar feedback and shrill squeal of "Blues for Sterling Hayden," which could easily be an exercise in sheer noise blast, but is instead a carefully controlled track that demonstrates just how subtle the duo can be, even under such 'extreme' conditions. Structurally similar is "A Bucket of Mayo," which is built out of feedback fragments and the warm crunch of vinyl surface noise. Marhaug can't help but show his noise chops he has honed in his solo career, and "Not Half Bad to the Bone" demonstrates his penchant for explosive bassy blasts, yet lurking under the crunch are some subtle, melodic tones that the average band wouldn't have bothered with. The ending series of false starts from a live band is a nice touch as well. "Tentacles of Broken Teeth" is somewhat reminiscent of Marhaug's recent collaboration with Nils Henrik Asheim on Touch, all massive, cavernous reverbs and expansive metallic drones, but here a bit more harsh and distortion oriented. The centerpieces of the disc are the two massive lengths tracks—the aforementioned "Blues for Sterling Hayden" and the title track—the latter being a more controlled affair of synth tones feedback, and even a bit of dark ambience. The long tracks especially show this duo's flair for creating beautifully structured chaos. Balls the Size of Texas, Liver the Size of Brazil cannot neatly be labeled as a 'noise' work, but it certainly has the elements that fans of Marhaug's solo work will enjoy, but enough compositional and structural elements that anyone who understands the appeal of esoteric music would love as well.
Recorded and mixed Bergen / Oslo / Steigen / Hamarøy 2006.