Heads are a relatively new band receiving quite a lot of attention recently for their self-titled debut LP, due out in Australia this Friday from newly formed and equally well-hyped Ballarat indie label Heart of The Rat. A collaboration between former Melbourne musician Ed Fraser and two friends from his new home in Berlin, Heads play heavy, noisy, and identifiably Australian music that should be enjoyed by fans of sludge-infused Australian noise rock like Zeahorse or Narrow Lands. It’s no surprise that Heads are touring with Metz. The two bands seem to making a similar sort of sound: passionate, heavy guitar rock influenced by post-hardcore and noise. But is it interesting enough to justify the hype?
First track, A Mural Is Worth a Thousand Words, sets the tone for the rest of the album, with a heavy, layered guitar sound similar in violence and intensity to the latest release from Metz. But while Metz are all about the power and the speed, Heads run at a comparatively languid pace, allowing you to pay close attention to the intricate compositions they’ve used to create their sound. They’re also a lot more fun than Metz, showing something of the self-aware Australian sense of humour that made Narrow Lands’ Popular Music That Will Live On Forever so novel and appealing back in 2013. From the bong rip breakdown in the first track, to the title of track two, Chewing on Kittens, you get the sense that Heads are a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. That, and the undisguised accent to the vocals, lends the album a sense of personal authenticity. It gives a human touch to the otherwise flawlessly controlled sound of the album. They don’t just seem like a band who’d melt your face off at a concert, but one who’d be a lot of fun to drink with afterwards. It makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.
It’s easy to be suspicious of releases like this one, that come from nowhere with a strong amount of promotional attention, but in this case, the hype is entirely justified. From the droning, evolving hardcore of Skrew, to the immersive psychedelic narrative of Black River, or the cataclysmic, discordant rumblings of Foam, it’s the perfect mixture of evocative song-writing and emotional intensity. If you’re into heavy music, or any of the artists I’ve mentioned, you will adore this album. Heads have created a stunning debut that should not be missed.