Bring Back Her Head
Anna C chances her arm with 3 more reviews


Bring Back Her Head’s press release states that the quartet “possess that often lauded but rarely evident quality- true originality”. Of course, this is complete balls. I mean, come off it- even the best-loved artists fail to be original these days. There is little left in music that hasn’t been done. And what’s wrong with sounding like someone you admire anyway? I am sure that it is no co-incidence that ‘Bring Back Her Head’ is also a single by indie rockers, Angelica, who sound vaguely familiar herein. What’s more, BBHH have apparently also got something that few of their peers have (despite being later described as peerless)- great studio recordings to back it up. Can this really be true from a band from Ipswich?? Yet, even after reading several hundred of these poorly composed accolades in the past, I still just have to find out. Let me finish groaning first.

Thankfully, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, opening track ‘Jealous’ is pretty good. One thing the PR bod did get right is that BBHH are for fans of Pixies and PJ Harvey- influences that are screamingly obvious, by the way- as are Sonic Youth and bands of that ilk. Documenting the power struggle between man and temptress, it is quite an exciting introduction, Jen Baxter’s vocals certainly assured, backed with a capable rhythm section and some grinding guitar work.

So it is unfortunate that what follows is not quite in the same vein. That’s not to say it’s not good- it’s just that the rest of the EP is decidedly more amateur, again, no surprises considering the band formed about a year ago. “Lethargy is crippling you/ Thinking of things you didn’t do”, Baxter sings over an accompaniment made to watch shoes by. Before I suspect she is reading my mind, body and soul, we are moved deftly on to ‘Take me now’, a raunchy little number about, well- it doesn’t leave much to the imagination, does it? It is only here that one questions the capabilities of production staff as I, for one, crave an appropriate seduction in the powerful vocals that is sadly lacking and could be best achieved with some studio trickery. The lyrical content, though meaningful, could also be a bit more poetic, a potential that can only be developed with experience. And sacking your PR person.

The ‘Tied up tight’ EP is available right the noo.


CASTROVALVA- We are a unit

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Jake Shears tried to cough up a tonsil? Thankfully, we have Castrovalva to solve the mystery. Named after the weird city on early ‘80’s ‘Doctor Who’- neither a sanctuary or a trap apparently- there is a similar feeling of unease found on this “eagerly awaited” debut album. “Eagerly awaited by who?” is just another question I might pose at this point if I were cruel enough…

Recorded and mastered at Ghost Town Studios (also responsible for fellow champions of the hard and the heavy, Rolo Tomassi), the Leed-based trio have been hailed by some as experimental for their odd bass-driven rock, the brutality of Death From Above 1979 merged with dark synths, orchestration worthy of a freakshow cabaret and schitzophrenic whispering courtesy of frontman Leemun Smith, right before he rips out his own vocal chords on the low notes, left only with the capability to resemble aforementioned Scissor Sisters frontman at his croakiest. And so the album is rather a noisy affair- a headbanger’s heaven to be precise; lots of angry energy occasionally gives way to standout tracks like ‘We don’t go to Ravenholm’ which has a more rhythmic Faith No More feel to it and… In fact, that was the only one I really liked but you could do worse if you like your music slightly mental. You might enjoy it more if you, yourself, are also slightly mental. Or perhaps you will be after a listen. I will let you make that choice.

Released 12th April, 2010


JAPANESE VOYEURS- That love sound/Blush

Romily Alice, lead singer of Japanese Voyeurs, is a purveyor of the dual personality. On this double A-side- the follow-up to the dubiously named debut E.P. ‘Sick and creaming’- she lurches from squeaky-voiced siren to gutterall ballbreaker before you can utter a word about how many facial injections Courtney Love has potentially had recently. No matter- Ms. Love can still do angry along with the best of them (well, screaming is still a forte at least; just don’t expect associated facial expressions) and it is for this reason that I mention Ms Love at all, as it is her emphatic passion that leads the London-based quintet through their own chosen wall of sound; a little bit sinister, a little seductive and many of the other things that float my boat.
“Why don’t you come inside/ Show me how you love me”, Alice croons before some menacing guitar work threatens her sanity and the Riot Grrl of that dual personality kicks and screams through a primal nod to what some may consider the best bits of the post-punk/ grunge scene, notably ripping the bodices of the likes of L7 and a less experimental Sonic Youth. Or at least ripping their jeans a bit more. Is it time for another revival? We thinks so.

Released 8th February, 2010 on Slimeball Records.

Anna C