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Artist
The Heads
ReleaseProduct
Relaxing With...
Label
Rooster
Catalogue Number
ROOSTER15
Release Date
June 28, 2019

Genres

If there was any doubt as to the dominating influence of Bristolian stoners The Heads upon the 21st century’s vibrant noise rock underground, their 1996 debut Relaxing With… should weed out the naysayers. This LP’s so heavy and hard-as-nails, it’s surely more appropriate to consider a marvel of engineering than merely one of the finest slices of riff-heavy, snot-nosed, balls-to-the-wall works ever committed to wax. Essential.

Stewart Lee February 2021 “The Halley's Comet victory orbits of historic heavy artefacts from Detroit, like The Stooges or The MC5, leave grateful onlookers aghast. But, hidden away in Bristol, The Heads are still with us now, our homegrown acid-garage godfathers, an ongoing thirty-two year old concern with a back catalogue arguably more consistent than the super-dense psyche-rock groups that inspired them. The Heads arrived fully formed and have spent three decades becoming more like themselves, a musical black hole that sucks in all surrounding matter. I love The Heads “

Phil Alexander February 2021 “The Heads make music for freaks in the know. If you were there in 1996, you’ll know just what that means…

Back then, they were gloriously out of step with the pop-cheese of the time and geezerly lumpiness of Britpop. Theirs was an altogether different take on music – a take inspired by the glorious burn-out of the ‘60s, the sonic overdrive of the ‘70s and the axis of joy created by the combination of excess volume and repetition.

We could name-check some inspirations and kindred spirits: The Stooges, Hawkwind, Floyd, Loop, Sabbath, Amon Düül II, Spacemen 3, Walking Seeds, Mudhoney, Monster Magnet among them... But in all honesty, The Heads have always existed in a world of their own, surfacing as and when the mood takes them, before returning to their subterranean rehearsal room to jam their way through yet more mind-altering riffs and mood-altering rhythms.

Relaxing With The Heads is their first defining statement. It is also possibly their most straight-forward release, the sound of a band attempting to find structure in their playing rather than abandoning themselves to their wildest impulses. That would come later…

And yet, 25 years on, this album blasts forth like few records from that time, its slacker charm welded to super-fuzzed riffs that propel its 10 tracks ever onwards. Righteous is probably the only word for it…”

And one our favourite quotes (ignoring the VOX review of 96)

John Peel 1995, on airing the first session // “..well if that’s not a freakout, then I am a dutch man”

  1. 1 Quad 0:30
  2. 2 Don't Know Yet 0:30
  3. 3 Chipped 0:30
  4. 4 Slow Down 0:30
  5. 5 U33 0:30
  6. 6 Television 0:30
  7. 7 Woke Up 0:30
  8. 8 Widowmaker 0:30
  9. 9 Taken Too Much 0:30
  10. 10 Coogan's Bluff 0:30

Silver Vinyl Track List

Side A:

  1. Quad
  2. Don't Know Yet
  3. Chipped
  4. Slow Down
  5. U33

Side B:

  1. Television
  2. Woke Up
  3. Widowmaker
  4. Taken Too Much
  5. Coogan's Bluff

Radio Sessions & 7" B-side

Side C: First John Peel Sessions:

  1. Chipped (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
  2. Widowmaker (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
  3. Theme (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
  4. Woke Up (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
  5. Spliff Riff (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)

Side D: More Radio 1 Sessions / B-side:

  1. Quad (Live BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, Glasgow 31/03/96)
  2. U33 (Live Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1, Manchester 02/05/96)
  3. Television (Live Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1, Manchester 02/05/96)
  4. Jellystoned Park ( b-side of Television 7")

The Heads

Rooster

Experimental and Noise

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