Review of the Headspins’ “Spinister”
by Ian Tomele
I recently had Gary from the Headspins drop off their new disc to me. This band exists somewhere between where 70’s garage rock meet the punk revolution. Think along the lines of MC5 and the Stooges but with a pixies play on things. Rock ‘n roll with a little bit of attitude and a great combination of alternating male and female vocals. They do this not only with the lead vocals but the backing harmonies as well.
One thing that struck me as pretty cool is that this disc pays homage to the past members of the group. In fact former headspin, Jean, sings lead on the two songs she wrote, “My Way or the Highway” & “Don’t Worry” as well as playing rhythm guitar.Moreover, “Tree” and “Artpop” also make cameo’s on backing vocals throughout “Spinister.”
Although this band exists in the nostalgic era where rock first meet punk and they decided to dance, There are many moments where you hear the rest of their influences. On “Keep it Forever” Gary is more attuned to singer-songwriter with a dash of alt-country. In the previous track they added a honky-tonk slide guitar part for their transition. Then there is the oddball song in the album track 6 entitled “Miner.” It starts with a surf guitar riff and you don’t know if they are gonna go towards Dick Dale or The Doors. Instead it ends up more like Tom Waits covering The Cramps.
Right away I noticed that thought went into this disc. From the killer artwork by Donovan Foote (seriously look him up!) to the actual ordering of the tracks. It almost literally alternates between male and female vocals every song. The a fore-mentioned oddball track is smack dab in the middle of 11 cuts. And this ends in a bang! My personal favorite is “Problematic” which draws in a little X-ray Spex fervor. This is driving anthemic rock and roll, with songs about life, love, drinking & heartbreak.
Check out the Headspins Live for the “Spinister” Release Show:
Evanston IL FRI 6/7 We put PUNK ROCK first fridays at the awesomely new 27 LIVE*HEADSPINS (cd release!) *THIS OBSESSION *SOLUTION UNSATISFACTORY