Bristolian noise terrorists The Heads belong to a category all of their own...

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Heads : London Camden Monarch


Heads : London Camden Monarch

Bristolian noise terrorists The Heads belong to a category all of their own. Few bands could ever hope to muster a sonic assault as extreme as theirs – nor, it has to be said, would they want to. ‘Cos tonight, The Heads subject us to some real torture.

Initially, they flatter to deceive: ‘Trilogy’ opens with a strobe-lit blaze of white noise, and over the course of some 15 minutes, its churning riffs and hypnotic beats variously call to mind Sonic Youth, Can and, most obviously, My Bloody Valentine. It’s superb. But in a set that spreads just seven songs over an hour, it’s inevitable that chronic self-indulgence sets in quickly. After vaguely promising beginnings, ‘Bedminster’ mutates into a miserably overdrawn ’70s rock wig-out, while ‘Long Gone’ and ‘Could Be’ are screeching wankfests that actually force some audience members to clamp their hands over their ears (frontman Simon Price sensibly opts for some earplugs).

The Heads rally briefly with the vigorous, Stooges-aping ‘Fuego’, but the revealingly-titled ‘Spliff Riff’ is hopelessly formless and atonal, and it’s a blessed relief when they finally leave us alone – even if the roar of feedback endures long after their departure.

Of course, it’s patently obvious that these boys don’t give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks of them. And on tonight’s evidence, we’d be wise to leave them to it.

Niall O’Keeffe