Head Noise

ALBUM REVIEW : Head Noise – Twisted Histories

Hailing from South Wales, Head Noise, upon initial listens, are like the bastard hybrid of Devo and the much-missed London band Hicks Milligan-Prophecy. If this bunch are even half as good as the latter group were live, then catching them in concert is an absolute must.

Calling themselves an oddball / angular electropunk band on their Bandcamp page, they couldn’t have summed their sound up any better. How could anybody not fall for the insanely catchy ‘Sheer Buccaneer!‘, with its delightful introduction of “Ahoy there, landlubbers!“? I’m sold anyway. “There’s also a very high chance you’ll contract scurvy” is another entertaining lyric, like a slightly more adult version of Horrible Histories, but every bit as playful.

Doin’ Science‘ is probably the ‘most Devo’ of the songs here, perhaps with a dash of Thomas Dolby thrown in for good measure, though I imagine that frontman Mitch Tennant’s vocals could be a bit Marmite for some folk. Luckily for him, I love Marmite, so it’s not really a trial for me. ‘Tojo Head Slap‘ is one of my favourite song titles I’ve heard this year, and it’s a thunderously heavy tune that is halfway between Supergrass‘s ‘Richard III‘ and the 70s glam rock of The Sweet. It’s a bizarre combination, perhaps, but it works.

Other highlights come in the shape of the somehow mesmerising, mantra-like verses of ‘Napoleon Blown-Apart‘, a highly pleasing musical arrangement with a powerful cadence, the impossibly infectious dancefloor grooves of curtain closer ‘Time Mash‘ and the album’s opener ‘Primordial Soup‘, which begins with dramatic synths worthy of being the theme tune to a serious BBC current affairs programme. Obviously, once the vocals kick in, that goes out the window, but it’s the track that reminds me most of the aforementioned Hicks Milligan-Prophecy anyway.

It’s certainly an enjoyable listen, with the added benefit of learning useless (or maybe very useful, if you’re a pub quizzer) nuggets of information from history. ‘Taft In The Bath‘, for example, will leave the fact that the former US President is known for getting stuck in the tub etched in your memory forever. Not that you’d particularly want this image, granted, but, you know, you can’t unsee it!

A fun album indeed.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.