Heads off – Ad Absurdum review 2017

One of the best things about punk music is the wide variety of sounds that come under the banner, you can’t pigeon hole this music into a tidy little box. Heads Off hail from Sheffield and consist of Ian Hutchinson, Dave Attwood and Danny Lowe formally of Big Bad Wow, they have put together a new album “Ad Absurdum” that has definitely been a worthwhile cause.

We start off with a careering train like bass for the first track “Propaganda Machine”, a strong beginning with plenty energy running through and the slightly electronic feel to the vocals compliment the pounding rhythm of the track. Its a strong track on the album for me, not losing the melody in the power of music. The next track Hey You” is a little less frantic but still has a signature bass line running through it, an uplifting track with a short drum solo mid way that works well. A change of feel to the album now with “Psychopath” where I hear a slight Kinks 60s influence in the song, a happy go lucky tune that contradicts with the lyrics about the mind of a disturbed individual. It conjures up images of running through a field of flowers without a care, unaware that someone is following you into the woods and will return alone (or is that just me).

This is not a manky moggy “Pussycat” wails and screeches throughout with some nice harmonies and persistent drum beats, very cleverly connecting the music to the title with an echo on the vocals that would carry through the night. Next up for me is maybe the weakest track on the album “Reality Sandwich”, dissonance describes lack of harmony between musical notes and sometimes it just works and maybe for some it will. “No Fucks Given” brings the album back with short sharp riffs and bouncing rhythm, the vocal tone is leveled throughout the song and lets music take control of the track. I would highlight this as my favorite track on the album along with “Propaganda Machine”, they both conjure up power passion and melody reminiscent of old school punk tunes.  The 8th track on the album “Only Words” is from the punk school playground, with a repetitive blast of a robotic nursery rhyme with a cutting edge. It meanders along at a playful pace, with intervals of jumping riffs before the teacher pulls the plug on it and gives you detention.

We slow the pace down a little with “Mass Distraction” which has a more catchy twanging sound to the bass line that is interrupted with a Middle Eastern brass section distinctly different to the rest of the album. The 2nd last track “Business as Usual” has a repetitive theme throughout the vocal, explaining the repercussions for others action. A quieter moment in the song  relaxes the ears to a near ballad, before normal service is resumed and brought to a conclusion with the bass strings vibrating . We end with “They Don’t Care About Us” which starts with a bass driven heart beat, reminding me a little of L7s Pretend We’re Dead before accelerating into the chorus and title of the song. The eerie vocals gives warning of a changing society for us listeners, before going into overdrive to inform us what we all know “They Don’t Care About Us”.

The danger here is to delve in and listen to a random track on this album, you may just miss a trick and pick the wrong one and not explore it further.  I wouldn’t say that every songs a winner for me, but after a few listens I nailed down 2 stand out tracks which is a rare feet today with a few other good listens. I would recommend an extended play of this one, with an eye on any further releases in the future.

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