Welcome to a new feature for Explore Reading from Steve Reynolds. It’s a regular column on bands from the Reading area that aren’t in the faces of people in town but should be pulling your lug holes a bit and covering your screen with their aesthetically pleasure-filled faces.
For the first one it’s the new old timers: Head Drop. A supergroup in the context of the indie circuit of the RG postcode, Head Drop comprise of members from Typical Hunks, Cody Noon, Monster Movie and Glassed. This is their first release, a self-release called ‘EP 1’ and it’s one for the more discordant of listeners. The four tracks here breathe in all the good noise polluters of the last 30 odd years: My Bloody Valentine, Loop, Sonic Youth, Sabbath and Motorhead.
First track ‘S5 3.1’ doesn’t mess about. Instead it goes right for the jugular with a nasty, dirty unforgiving riff of utter filth. Drenched in a mountain of fuzz, the vocal pokes itself subtly into the music with just the right level of volume to not take precedence over the noise that encompasses it.
‘Too Late To Go’ continues in a similar vein. While you might be thinking their repetition is a flaw, it becomes obvious that these fellas know a big booming riff when they smell one and never forget to add the precious thing – melody.
‘Underweight’ is much more tempered with a brooding opening. But it ain’t long before it follows suit with its predecessors by exploding into a chasm of reverb and white noise, pummelling your ears and begging for forgiveness. This is dirtier than a council lorry’s grey bin deposits.
The finale comes in the grime and grubbiness of ‘Burn It Down’, a mumbling mess of vocals that are soaked in so much riffage it’s almost suffocated until a barked scream busts through the hyperbole of noise.
Head Drop knows how to tickle your earlobes. While the uninitiated might consider it a load of trashy old white noise (copyright – Iggy Pop) others will welcome their fresh and belligerent approach. A strong statement and a trail blazer for a burgeoning Reading guitar scene.
Main image credit: Claire Ford
Steve Reynolds is a Reading-based promoter and DJ. He's the founder of Darklands, Reading's indie alternative club night and has co-organised the DoubleDotBash music festival for the last couple of years.