Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meister Music #6 - Love + Fury, The Headstones Return From The Grave


Hello and welcome to my new segment called Meister Music.  I often get new music cross my desk from record companies or from my own personal musical searches and adventures.  I thought that this would be a good place to review and post my thoughts on some of this music, maybe turning you onto some new bands or reminding you about some old favourites.  Some of the albums may not always be to my specific taste in music, but I'll give you my honest opinions.  Some of it may not even be the most current as I try to introduce you to some lesser known bands that have crossed my path and become favourites of my listening rotation.  Like what I say or think I'm an idiot?  Please feel free to leave me comments and suggestions as you see fit, it would be great to start a discussion of some of these albums.


I've been a Headstones fan since as long as I can remember really, being introduced to them on a compilation cassette that was circling around campus.  Quickly my friends and I took to the band's piss and vinegar brand of thug rock music and we caught as many live shows as possible.  I even have the "H" logo incorporated in my "in progress" full sleeve tattoo, so yeah, I'm a fan.  To read about a few of my Headstones adventures, check out my article from back in October: MEISTER & THE HEADSTONES

After way too long of a hiatus I was elated to hear that the boys were back working together again and starting to write new material.  I discovered a website called pledgemusic.com where the band were asking for fan support to assist in making the new record.  There were many, many options and I've seen other bands using this type of way to raise funds for a record.  It's a great way to get the fans involved.  I chose a relatively cheap pledge, which got me a limited pledge t-shirt, autographed CD and updates on the progress along the way in the form of music and pictures.  I don't remember the price of my package, but I remember thinking that it was about the same price as if I were to buy the CD and t-shirt at a concert, which I surely would have.  Other packages included things like personal meet & greets, memorabilia and more.

I received a pledger's only streaming of the new album several weeks ago and clicked right away, rushing to give the whole album a spin before heading out to work.  I was not hugely warm to the record at first, probably all the hype I brought on myself for this event and it didn't measure up as it rarely does.  I over-hyped it to myself!

In the mail the other day I received a package containing my t-shirt (that I have been proudly sporting around town) and my autographed CD.  The official release date had not yet approached, but as a pledger they had forwarded me a copy early.  I spun the disc several times through over the next few days and here are my thoughts on the new Headstones record.

The first track changemyways leads off with a funky bass line before popping in with the guitars and Hugh's venomous vocals.  This track sounds just like the Headstones of old, with the exception that the guitars seem a little more toned down or quieter, but that may just be my sound system.  What is there is the piss and vinegar attitude that are The Headstones as Hugh's tell-tale voice can be heard seething through my speakers.....volume up!  And by the way, that's not a spelling error on the track names as they are all listed lower case with no spaces on the album sleeve.  The first single from the Love + Fury album, longwaytoneverland followed.  Starting off  very reminiscent to me of....I can't quite place it...maybe Heart of Darkness from 20 years earlier?, at least at the start, but maybe that's just Hugh's vocals making me think this.  finalanalysis and farawayfromhere are up next on the roster and I could definitely hear the latter being played on the radio, especially as there's no "f bombs" in it.  By this point of the album it is clear that The Headstones have picked up right where they left off as dontfollowtheleader rips off with a punk flavour holding true to their brand of thug rock.  The slower pace of astronaught is no Three Angels, Cubically Contained or My Perpective Fades but is a nice break in the attack.  gobacktheotherway snarls at you again ramping up the pace once more.  I was extremely pleased when I saw the next song on the track listing, ABBA's SOS, yes you did read that right.  The boys have been playing it live for years, making it sound like a totally new song and I'm glad to see it finally recorded, ABBA never sounded so good!  While SOS is a hard act to follow binthiswayforyears succeeds beautifully and was already familiar to me as I had the chance to hear it at the reunion concert in December 2011. outtamyleague appears prior to the album closer of midnightofthislife and the lounge style that was quite evident on Nickels For Your Nightmares returns.

It's awesome to see The Headstones back making great music and while I can compare almost every song here to one from their back catalogue and definitely their song writing has matured over the years, I prefer the hungriness and desperation of old.  The guys have definitely produced a worthy addition to their repertoire, I however, don't find it holds a candle to Smile & Wave, but maybe I'm just a cantankerous old bastard who's resistant to change.  The more I listen, the more I like and one thing is for certain.....with the recording over there's bound to be some sort of tour! The Headstones live show is something you just have to experience and you can be assured that I won't miss a one of them!


The Meister


Wallygator said...

You cantankerous old bastard! Great review and when they swing by don't hesitate to pick my up a ticket as I have loved them for years but have never caught them LIVE!

The Meister said...

'Tis I, the cantankerous old bastard......it may have even been you that coined that phrase in my honour...lol! You will not miss another Headstones show that's for sure, I'm just not sure if you're ready for it!

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