The Heads

Relaxing With...

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Originating out of Bristol, England, the Heads brought a somewhat milder, heavily psychedelic bent to the '90s' teeming stoner rock scene. On their 1995 debut, Relaxing With..., the band alternates between Hawkwind-like space rock drone themes ("Widowmaker," the driving opener "Quad") and post-Detroit fuzz/punk freakouts à la MC5 ("Don't know Yet," the quite brilliant "Television"). Elsewhere, the creeping "U 33" sees them indulge in Nuggets-styled garage psychedelics, while the ten-minute "Coogan's Bluff" introduces one of their pet fetishes in years to come -- very extensive jams. More often than not, the lasting impression is that of a uniformly accomplished and professionally recorded album, but one that ultimately yields few truly memorable tunes. Indeed, congealing their chemically altered brains into unison long enough to wax a truly "complete" album would remain a troublesome hallmark for much of the Heads' career, and here, only the aforementioned "Quad," "Television," and the unusually diverse "Taken Too Much" stand out as true moments of glory. All the while, the band's most distinctive feature has to be singer Simon Price, whose conversational, low-end vocal style emulates both Iggy Pop and Lou Reed with haunting accuracy.

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