white hills / the heads

The Heads / White Hills
collisions – volume 1
Rocket recordings

Just what the doctor ordered though whose doctor exactly is anyone’s guess as our sage like general practitioner has a tendency to blame all ills on smokers which might be all well and good for those non smoking types among you though faced with someone swearing blind to have never have partaken of the dreaded weed the curt reply comes that they must have been near someone who did smoke at one time or other and failing that test must have thought – even if only momentarily – about smoking. Anyhow its just as well we mention smoking because it seems some quality unregulated can’t buy at the local supermarket substances have been passed around here no doubt in a mother of a bong. Admittedly this release is causing a hair old headache in our gaff and not just because of the frontal lobe blending sounds emanating from the grooves, no it appears that this little brute may well be a label miss-press of sorts given that that the run out groove stampers appear in reverse to what the actual label says.

Does this make sense. Thought not. But then once you’ve managed to navigate your way through this trip-wired
fuzz-tastic odyssey of sound then we suspect you’re head will be so caned you’ll scarcely know what day it is yet alone have time to spare a thought for such details as which band was which.

This split release – incidentally limited to just 1000 vinyl copies of that a limited number venturing out on coloured vinyl while an even more limited number arrive replete with a poster (sadly our copy is your bog standard black vinyl version – damn) – is the first – we believe – of face off’s between selected invitees marking the beginning of Rocket Recordings ‘collisions’ series, Volume 1 gathering finding itself hitting the hyper drive throttle full on with a killer gathering of New York spaced out freaks White Hills and the Heads from Bristol.

White Hills of course previously appeared in these pages via their killer Hawkwind split with AMT for the ever essential Trensmat imprint (whose sub label Nub will be getting an airing via the next missive). Found here stumping up ‘I will find peace of mind’ – a brain dissolving 18 minute cosmic trip of the highest calibre which unless we have somehow found ourselves a wanting and reading from the wrong page sounds like one wasted mother of blissed out oblivion seemingly tailgating a brew you’d imagine being concocted had Spacemen 3 and the Brian Jonestown Massacre ever ran into each other for a quick studio bunk up, an acid fuelled lysergic mass of sorts shrivelled by hypnotic shards and awash in frenzied bleached glazes of pure space psyche white noise howling out a freakish galactic mantra made up of wah wah’s and fuzzed out distortion aplenty that builds layer by layer into a skin peeling inferno of festering groove that seemingly always threatens though never quite achieves the threatened melt down. The donning of shades or more preferably visors is a considered must.

‘Camden Brain Slurry’ is probably as apt a title as you can get for this grizzled and monolithic after birth that cements the grooves of the Heads’ side of the proceedings, sounds not unlike something recently excavated from a beatnik burial ground that was once the site of a thick sludgy swampland, a seriously primal and stoned freak show styled stew that to these ears sounds like a shit faced sonic trepanning experiment being conducted by a gathered acid fried collective made up of members of Hawkwind and Mugstar. This is wired and wiring fucked up fuzz white out. Very much informed by an early 70’s stoner, heavy psyche, space scenes, ‘Camden brain Slurry’ pummels a sound strata much reminiscent to that found on early Green Milk from the Planet Orange releases. Made up – it seems – of three parts – so that you have your initial ‘how do’ introductions wherein these imps attempt to blow your speakers clean through. Then there’s a middle section where it has to be said a fair amount of dextrous dicking about is afoot, lulls of uneasy calm and chin stroking discordance beset by moment of squalling tuning and feedback resonance – lovers of the art rock squiggles calibrated by the likes of Henry Cow and their ensuing solo output will swoon at the spectacle. Then its off for the blistering finale, a scowling crescendo as the band gets it shit together in fine and unrepentant way and jettisons the hulking craft in such a ferocious way arming it with a Hendrix howling head wiring strut laced locked groove jam that it literally lifts your wig clean off your scalp which if we didn’t no better would have to say comes across like a seriously pissed off white hot and out of it Sonic Youth. A totally wigged out experience / ordeal (delete where applicable) for all and certainly deserving of the donning of tin hats and the nailing of all moveable objects – may well cause recurring flashbacks, while those without beards may just feel a little naked in its company mind you at 20 plus minutes we’ve managed some nifty 5 o’clock shadow.

Essential by the way but then you probably gathered that bit for yourselves you clever sausages you.


May 2009

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