Push is the latest album from Berlin/Melbourne based noise-rock trio Heads. It’s a record that’s heavy, dark and visceral but with an atmosphere that’s very grounded and relatable. The band uses industrial sounds and guitar riffs not so much as a vehicle to make the songs ‘rock’ but instead guides it to paint a vivid picture. One that details a world that’s in danger, and one that’s slowly closing in on us. The industrial textures and heavy bass that permeates their songs feels deliberate and polished, with a sonic profile reminiscent of smoky factories where the gears grind and pickaxes pierce the earth. Dissonance rings through every song, making this quite a dense and difficult record to listen to, but it’s one that is ultimately rewarding in the end.
“Empty Towns” pushes the envelope of noise from just the opener alone, setting the tone with a prophetic spoken-word warning amidst the pulsing of grimy dissonance. “Weather Beaten” roars like a devastating dust storm battering down on the masses while “Push You out to Sea” is a rollicking post-punk jam with a deceptively groovy rhythm section. While each song’s noise profile is somewhat similar to each other, there’s always a change-up in Heads. craftsmanship, shifting the tempo, volume to even the style and genre to diversify their sound.
“Rusty Sling” proves that the band can go for a calm slow-burn as easily as they can go for urgent noise. The riffs feel like they’re balancing on a slackline, teetering to the edge with dissonance that lingers all through its 5 minute runtime.
The album’s opus is in the later “Paradise” which stretches to almost 8 minutes. Chugging distortion intertwines with unsettling riffs as it tries to dig itself into poor soul’s shattered psyche. There’s a glorious hook that peeks around its midpoint, but it’s something that’s deliberately drowned out and faded by the grasping textures. A contrast that is masterfully captured by Head.
Push is a triumph of noise rock. One might expect the album to feel jarring or hard to listen to, but the production polish that has graced this offering makes it all sound crisp and refined. Heads. proves that noise can be crafted in artful ways, making a record that is a delight (albeit a challenging one) to the senses.