Before a single note is played well before the disc is near the player the first thing you notice is how much has gone into the package of this CD. Like a little book it’s hardback and has page after page of pictures and lyrics which is not only impressive but shows that they’re people give a shit about their music and their attention to detail isn’t slapdashash but lovingly cared for which shows what beign passionate can do before a note is played.
Right that my introduction over. ‘When?’ is a fairly solid introduction its stright handsdown punk rock its nothing experimental or sub genre of a subgenre just good time honest punk rock. Now ‘I Love You’ is everythign the opener isn’t. whilst its got a bit of a skank happening and a groove or a rhythm that isn’t a million miles from Jaya The Cat if it were played by the Levellers if you can imagine that for a second?
As the album evolves the band gets their Jig on with some bouncy quick paced alternative punk rock as displayed on ‘Peace Or War’. Whilst ‘Cynical’ introduces some acoustic guitars to the mix and this is where the band works best for me. sure it’s in that Levellers ballpark or even a hint of New Model Army they get a little playful with their skanking ‘Mushrooms’. They entertain with a bit of Rock-a-billy on ‘Mr. I’m Alright Jack’ then back to the acoustic guitars for ‘My Own War’ which again displays their best work and the style I think really suits the band and works really well with the folk meets punk style.
There’s a lot of music to plough through with sixteen songs on offer and the songs tend to jump from style to style with Headsticks not wanting to be tied to one but for me they work best when performing the acoustic punk style rather than the rock of ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ but its no biggie not taking to one song or other with this much on offer. There is even time for some poetry with the excellent ‘Out Of Fashion’.
They could have warned me that they use a Bo-Jo tape on ‘Family Tree’ that almost caused me to bring up me dinner but I wholeheartedly agree with their sentiment. Then to follow it up with the best song on the album ‘All Of The Trees’ which reminds me of Tim Smith. I also had a moment where the flow of the record touches on some Strummer at times which is always welcome.
If there wasn’t enough bang for your buck they close the CD with the epic eleven minutes of extra time that is ‘Baboon Shepherd’ what a choon guys Baboon would be proud knowing that some cheeky monkeys from the North Of England penned a tune about him. STP know what a lot of people like and Headsticks I’m sure will fly out the door. Don’t keep em in the dark get on it.
Author: Dom Daley