The Heads

Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere

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The Heads create quite a stirring dirge on Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere. One wouldn't think that the relatively aggressive and moody guitar sound of the Heads would come from the band's home of Bristol, England, a region known more for experimental techno and trip-hop artists. Much of the music from Bristol qualifies as chill-out quality; the music on this album might be called fired-up. The band sound like they're scoring a 1970s movie about a road trip across the United States, a movie with a great deal of drug ingestion and scenes of violence or confusion, one would think. The band mostly strays from traditional song structures, focusing instead on the power and feel of wailing, dirty guitars. At times the guitars suggest the sound of airplanes taking off or landing, as on "Pill Jam," which later becomes reminiscent of Vincent Gallo's cool score to his movie Buffalo '66. Samples appear randomly throughout the album's running time. A goofy narrator, a playground of children, a barking dog, and the band's chatter all add to the confused state of things. "Barcoded" is a definite highpoint. It flies out of one's speakers like a cross between Killing Joke, Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, and The Fall's fractured art rock. "Motorjam" seems to go forever without ever getting boring, as searing guitars and wobbly bass compete to form a stranglehold on the overall atmosphere. "Stab Railroad" sounds like Joy Division doing a goth impression of the Doors. The album is messy, snarled, and, for the most part, quite interesting. Clocking in at more than 70 minutes, it's a bit hard to stomach in one listen. In small doses, the album shines quite bright; in larger doses, the music overwhelms and punishes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Only fans of hard rock will appreciate what the Heads have concocted on Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, but those enamored with blissed-out, shaggy guitars will love this crazed ride.

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