Sunday, July 6, 2008
The Heads - prologue / '69 shakes of the tail, mystic healer ("suck my tail pipe") (excerpt)
Sometimes I need super-awesome nonstop psych rock. I don't jones for it too often but when I do, I get really picky about just what can satisfy me. I was hoping that White Hills record I reviewed a while back would be able to keep me happy for a while, but sadly it fell short. Well, I can happily say I've found a record that rocks hard enough and lasts long enough that I probably won't need to go searching for a new one any time soon.
The Heads are some British guys who release a ton of stuff, most of it being limited in some way or another. Only a handful of CDs but plenty of vinyl; 7"s, 10"s, 12"s, they're some pretty prolific guys. And it seems like their CDs are mostly outtakes from jam sessions or compilations from even rarer releases, as is the case with their Dead In The Water... record. According to the liner notes, "This is a selection of one-offs from the archives plus a couple of 4track indulgencies and the odd field recording." That becomes pretty apparent when you take a look at the track titles (ex: "How many are left? (parts2and5),Mako/lake hyena/"Open Water",Sslow descent of the south face. tidal break, EP in A.")
Four tracks and almost all of them are over 20 minutes long, that means Dead In The Water... lasts for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. And for the most part, these songs are just the best parts of stoner rock freak outs. It's constant craziness with fucking killer riffs, lo-fi screeching guitars, and some tribal drums. Nobody actually does any singing (at least nothing that's recognizably human) but there are occasional snippets of field/broadcast recordings.
Because of the "experimental" nature of this album, I can't say all lovers of psych rock are going to be really into this. The song structures are anything but traditional. But don't let that stop you from rocking out. Dead In The Water... will probably outlast even the most ambitious and durable of you. It's relentless and made to break you. It never lets up and if you've made it to the end of the record, you'll probably just hit the play button again and keep on going.