Head Wound City – S/T (CD)

Head Wound City – S/T / 2005 Three One G / 7 Tracks / http://www.threeoneg.com/etis/bands.php?action=view&id=29 / http://www.threeoneg.com / Reviewed 21 November 2005

The instrumentation that is present on “I’m A Taxidermist I’ll Stuff Anything” is done with a speed and a urgency that it almost sound that the vocals were placed over a sped-up background. There is more than a little tension between the vocals and the instrumentation on “Head Wound City’s” album, as the vocals laid down are just not able to be pushed as far or as fast as the instrumentation here. Incredibly enough here, even if Head Wound City is playing their instruments at one hundred miles an hour, the band has enough of a sense to come out with some of the most catchy riffs this side of The Locust. “Shut College” has a retro-rock sound that sounds almost influenced by The Strokes, even though The Strokes could never even approach the blind fury that Head Wound City works with on this disc.

The opening of many of the tracks on this album show the band at their fastest; even considering some of these introductions do not last more than ten seconds, the content present in these openings is enough to tell an entire story. By decentralizing the vocal duties on this album, Head Wound City really give listeners a number of different sounds that vary a few times even on one track. The seventies presence of the band comes back out during “Thank You”, which is otherwise another noise-dominated track that winds itself into oblivion soon later. On “Michael J Fox”, the disc’s final track there seems to be a more traditional sense of arrangement, more definite styles that dominate here. This means that “Michael J Fox” is even more catchy and affecting than anything else on this self-titled album; the repetition really seems like a perfect way to end the track.

By “repetition”, I do not mean simply the same instrument played the same way throughout but rather a multi-layered experience that still has a tremendous amount of differentiation with each iteration of the arrangement. Breaking down the music into its constituent parts, this chaotic orgy of music has put Head Wound City onto the map in the space of a few short minutes (under ten, to be exact). This is not a band that came out of nothing; band members call the Blood Brothers and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs home. I would have to say that this is more innovative, more catchy, and more real than anything that the precursor bands could come up with, though. Best noise album of 2005?

Top Track: I’m A Taxidermist I’ll Stuff Anything

Rating: 8.1/10

[JMcQ]

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