Head Noise – ‘Special Effects Improves The Defects’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nev Brooks   
Friday, 24 November 2017 04:00

Head Noise artworkNot too long ago, I raved about a mini LP by a band called Bankrupt Pug, their art-punk noise really setting out their stall and raising a level of excitement live that I hadn’t experienced in a while – yet, typically, the buggers then decided to split! Such a shame. But, before you know, it the driving forces are back with a new incarnation, welcome Head Noise.


The band are made up of Mitch Tennant on vocals/keytar, Wayne Bassett on guitar and electronics and Jordan Brill on guitar and other music making machines.


Now the band self-proclaim as ‘awkward Ppop for a jilted generation’. Now, normally the mere mention of a keytar mixed with pop and I’m thinking Andrew Ridgley and Wham! Or, even worse, the ubiquitous ‘Final Countdown’ - and I run away as quick as my legs will take me: pomp, pop or prog are not really my thing,


But use it in a different way to provide the incessant beat that drives this mini LP, discordant but at the same time catchy as fuck and I’m there and all over it. As I listen through, my thoughts drift through the layered sound, and start to pick out some influences; rather than awkward I’d call it dark pop, maintaining an attitude grounded in the post punk of Joy Division, the darker days of Depeche Mode and all the while hinting at DEVO and Kraftwerk.


Looking at it track by track, opener ‘The Meat people’ sets up a distinctly off kilter experience: awkward, incessant but with a funk guitar riff ongoing in the background; moving forward, as you emerge from the layers to an almost ‘80s pop single, think Stock Aitken and Waterman heavily influenced by Malcolm McLaren, ‘Buffalo Gals’ springs to mind and fuck knows why.


Track two, ‘Dangerously Close’, changes the tempo and changes the influencer: think Electric Six if Depeche mode had produced. Track three, ‘Finally Snapped’, and we’re into that Depeche Mode ‘80’s vibe, Mitchell’s phrasing buried in the era.Track four, ‘The Man With The Rubber Head’ picks up tempo again: much more rocky, almost punk in it’s feel, the eastern guitar feel giving it a different dimension; it’s all about those layers of sound, building up something a bit different.


Track five, ‘Kingpin’, and we’re back hinting to me at a band out of Brighton called World Secret. This is the track I’m really not sure about: maybe it’s because I can’t pin it down. Does that make it a bad track? No, it’s just so full of ideas, chops and changes that I can’t quite follow it, definitely following its own dark beat.


Last up, ‘Diamond Planet’ throws yet another curve ball electro for a new generation; there’s some clever stuff buried in here, but held within a structure, and it probably sits as my fave on the LP. Go on dare to be different, drop your preconceptions and give the guys a listen: defiantly different. Remember, these guys supported Wolf Alice in Wales: there’s something stirring in south Wales - and Gods forbid it’s being driven by a keytar!


‘Special Effects Improves The Defects’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.




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