Review: The Heads – “Under the Stress of A Headlong Dive”

Under the Stress of a Headlong Dive is a lumbering giant of a record. Pay the price of admission and you’ll get treated to post-grunge stomping, psych-rock epics and punk anthems descended right from the MC5.

You get noisy interludes, sludgy blues numbers, and loads of screeching feedback.

There’s even what appears to be a fuzzy, boot-stomping tribute to Jello Biafra (I’ll give you three chances to guess which San Francisco label released this little gem).

But despite the diversity parading through this record’s nearly 75 minutes, listeners may be surprised to hear how well the whole affair hangs together.

Lesser bands could stumble between the bongo and Big Muff verses of “Pass, The Void” and, say, the glassy jazz asides of “EVP,” but the Heads seem to not only benefit from the chasms but also make them feel somehow connected.

And the few who arrive at the disc’s end unconverted need to look no further than “Creating in the Eternal Now is Always Heavy,” whose scorching solos, Mountain-like chops and surges of noise are the ultimate acid-tinged head trip. – Punk Planet, March/April 2007

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