Headland : Touchy Feely

The two Toms' deceptively dark weird-pop debut

A trip to Messrs Ball and Wegg-Prosser’s world is like peering through the gates of Jacko’s Neverland ranch. Initially, the west Londoners’ ‘Touchy Feely’ appears innocent enough – a mish-mash of kitsch electronica, breezy psychedelia and lethargic vocals. ‘Shellshock’ ‘s ace space-pop is on Air‘s wavelength, while ‘Molly’s Disco’ is a thrilling, throbbing electro cut. However, scratching beneath the surface reveals Headland’s sinister side.’Sick Man’ may feature a children’s choir, but it’s essentially a song about knowing you’re about to snuff it, while ‘Let’s Hear It For God/Swampbat’ features a cappella vocal sample so twisted that repeated listens risk the onset of dementia. Headland are the oddest couple since Mel B moved in with Patsy Kensit in Bo’ Selecta!. They’re all the better for it, too.

Rick Martin