The Head Set â€“ Way Past Used / 2006 Businessman Businessman / 12 Tracks / http://www.theheadset.com / Reviewed 28 April 2007
â€œWay Past Usedâ€ starts out fairly calmly, with The Head Set not really crafting a sound that stands out from the rest of rock music for quite a few seconds. By the time that the band finally kicks in to â€œEnemiesâ€, one hears hints of The Police, Matchbox 20, and even hints of Smash Mouth and Genesis, all at the same time. This means that parts of a track like â€œEnemiesâ€ will be very current and modern, while other parts of the song feels like it would be a better fit on classic rock radio. The band slows things down for the opening of â€œHollywoodâ€. During this track, The Head Set seem to reflect the sunny, bright nature of the titular track, even as the vocals insert the first bit of dissent into the track. The vocals seem to have a Taking Back Sunday meets U2 type of sound, even as the instrumentation does up a great Weezer homage.
â€œPure Convenienceâ€ seems to be the make or break track for The Head Set. The track is one of the longest tracks on â€œWay Past Usedâ€, and the band settles into an Interpol meets Killer like sound. The approach is as current as one could conceivably have, but one thing starts to show during this track. The instrumentation is strong and fits the vocals well, but it seems like the arrangements are just there. They are not contributing anything new or amazing to the track, even when the guitar drops a solo like it does immediately after the chorus during â€œPure Convenienceâ€. The band seems to be prepped and ready for rock radio, but there is not a track on â€œWay Past Usedâ€ that really establishes the band as being new and exciting.
The songs, especially â€œLast Call Dollâ€, are those that can be sang along with easy (and â€œLast Call Dollâ€ is interesting as it recasts the slow, 50s teen songs in the current period), but the band struggles throughout the entirety of â€œWay Past Usedâ€ to craft their own sound. If the band can expand on â€œLast Call Dollâ€ for their next album, the resulting release will be head and shoulders above the efforts expended on â€œWay Past Usedâ€. This is not saying that â€œWay Past Usedâ€ is weak, but the band needs to focus on one or two specific styles in the crafting of a smart and compelling style that will catapult them into fame.
Top Tracks: Way Past Used, Modern Class