Thursday, February 4, 2010
THE HEADS "TILBURG" (Rooster)
Massive slab of controlled chaos distilled into a psychedelic nihilistic attack courtesy of the Heads, recorded back in 2008 on a gig opening for the Wooden Shjips. Maybe it's just the super stark black and white cover art referencing death but there's a seriously negative vibe here, a sort of commune with pessimism not heard since Les Rallizes Denudes or Fushitsusha circa the mid-1980's. The Heads are not as free form nor as assaulting as either of those groups but the spectre is there, shrouded over the performance like a hanging stench of rot. The Heads just don't give a fuck. The attitude seems to be akin to, "fuck it, fuck this show, fuck these fucks in the audience, let's just plug this shit in and burn it all to the fucking ground." It's dangerous, cold psychedelia best digested in a more secure state of mind. Things start off icy with an assortment of blurping space noises eerily reminiscent Acid Mothers Temple at their most northern, like the guitars were tuning forks designed to pick up signals from the moon. The whoosh and blur grows until the band vomits into a lumbering doom riff worthy of Sabbath after an all-nighter, all crash cymbal gravity and hanging sludge. Some wasted, monotone vocals appear and disappear just as quickly, adding to the idea that everything's just an afterthought and only the present space matters. The band continues to tear through three "songs" that are equal parts Stooges and Comets on Fire blended up with Tony Iommi's most genre-defining riffs, churned out with little regard for audience engagement or reception. The second half of the set finds the lads wrenching a consistent, demolishing groove out of all that fuzz, riding the crest of destructive repetition to a lofty peak on Mt. Recidivism, where all the great riffs go to die. Graverobbing never had a better endorsement. The set closes out with the 15 minute damage display of "Spliff Riff", a horror show of delayed guitar waste and effect-laden air-pushing that seems to cascade forever, the thick bass and endless high-hat punishments absolutely fucking drilling it into you until it's done, just like that. Frank Kozik said that the Heads were his favorite band. Frank Kozik also liked to eat aspirin by the handful, chase it with a full bottle of cough syrup and listen to Electric Wizard "really fucking loud." Frank Kozik knew his shit. This LP totally destroys.