An interesting post on the Endless Boogie blog over the weekend. “[Endless Boogie] Sounds like a more psyched up Stackwaddy or Edgar Broughton Band Wasa Wasa (which is a good thing),” writes Dave C, “but IMHO if you want real brain crushing psych rock you NEED to get ‘Dead In The Water’ by The Heads, easily the best thing I’ve heard all year.”
Thanks for the reminder, Dave, because, truly, “Dead In The Water” is properly braincrushing psych rock, and something I’ve been meaning to blog about for a few weeks now. I was thinking about this record last week, actually, when I heard the news that Comets On Fire were coming in back for a London date on July 5.
Since Ethan Miller started prioritising his Howlin Rain project, I haven’t found much in the way of fervid psychedelic mulch-rock that really blows my mind. “Dead In The Water”, however, does the job perfectly. The Heads are one of those bands who’ve been on the periphery of my vision for a few years now, a shady Bristol outfit who I’ve always felt rather guilty about not really knowing – in spite of some fairly passionate recommendations over the years.
I always, perhaps erroneously, had the band tagged as some kind of West Country analogue to stoner rock, and parts of the sprawling freak-out collages here (a low-slung, feedback-damaged funkish break about two-thirds of the way through Track One, say) do have certain affinities with Queens Of The Stone Age, or at least the Desert Sessions.
Mostly, though, these obliterating pieces, mixed up with dialogue snippets, vibrating low-end jams and so on, have that frantic lashing energy of Comets circa “Field Recordings From The Sun”, albeit with a marginally fancier sound quality (not hard, that). What may be called “69 Shakes Of The Tail”, especially, makes me wonder whether they were doing this sort of turbo-charged tripped out Stooges-hardcore thing years before Comets even existed, making them one of those unheralded bands like Monoshock or Mainliner who inadvertently birthed today’s happily festering underground psych scene.
I’ll try and find out. In the meantime, “Dead In The Water” feels like a murky, subterranean project, from its bootlegged “Jaws” artwork on down. I imagine it sounds pretty awesome live, so the tour next month with Wooden Shjips looks tantalising. The dates are here at The Heads Myspace. No new tunes, mind.
Back to Endless Boogie, briefly. I’ve got another CD that taps into a similar vibe, by a couple of ex-Polvo guys in Black Taj, and it’s excellent. I’ll endeavour to post something about that in the next few days.