Head Noise – Über-Fantastique (album review)

Never judge a book by a cover, we’re told. Sound advice overall, but there are always exceptions. When you hear of a band called Head Noise, with an album called “Über-Fantastique”, with the cover sleeve like that (see below), your first instinct is that the album is going to be a festival of fun…and it doesn’t take long for those expectations to be confirmed.

There is a plethora of emerging talent in South Wales, mostly coming under the (and this is me being lazy) genre of “indie guitar rock”. Not that there’s a problem with that, I like indie guitar rock, but it’s always pleasing to hear something a bit spacey and out there and Head Noise provide this by the shed load.

From the start, the precedent is set with “Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors”, which draws you in with it’s synths and disco backdrop and has indie disco written all over it. The relentless energy continues with barely a pause of breath for the following 50 minutes, taking on influences from 40 years of music, with plenty of pop culture references thrown in throughout.

In their relatively short existence, Head Noise have made a big impression and can already list Wolf Alice, Art Brut and Public Service Broadcasting as artists they have shared the stage with. You can hear a bit of the last of that trio in “Anatomically Correct Shuffle”, this may be pure coincidence, but either way, comparisons with one of the most unique and exciting bands around at the moment aren’t to be sniffed at.

Head Noise have a post party feel to them, a band primed to come alive when most have (and probably sensibly) retired for the night, to be appreciated by a select few who want to keep the party alive. You know, that time of the morning when you know you really shouldn’t, but glad you are! Comparison’s with Snapped Ankles spring to mind for that sense of irreverence and giving you that feeling of “I’m not really sure what is going on here, but I absolutely love it”. And we all like a bit of that.

They’re a band with a spark and you sense they give themselves the licence to be as creative as possible, not committing to any particular genre. One of the fascinating things about them is their ability to seamlessly fuse together post punk and electropop influences, creating a sort of futuristic 80’s feel, “I Eat Cannibals” exhibit A.

“Über-Fantastique” is a debut album full of delightful surprises and at no point during the album’s 14 songs are you left bored. They have a few gigs already in the calendar in the first quarter and they’ll hopefully follow this up with a packed summer. I hope to catch them somewhere, preferably at 4am in a state of total confusion.

 

“Über-Fantastique” was released last November (apologies to Head Noise!) and is available on Spotify and I’d imagine all the other streaming sites. Head over to the bands Bandcamp site for everything Head Noise related!

Top picks:

“Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors”
“Anatomically Correct Shuffle”
“Mystery Liquid”
“I Eat Cannibals”
“Comply”

GF 21/01/2020

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