Headsticks – 10 Years Without Killing Each Other

A decade of goodness in any form is something to celebrate and musically in no finer way than the declaration of 10 Years Without Killing Each Other. This is the new album from UK’s punk  protagonists HEADSTICKS and a fifteen track engagement summing up how powerful and exciting an incitement they have been over the past decade and will continue to be as their craft and dispute evolves.

The Stoke on Trent and Crewe based quartet started out as an acoustic/folk band but the world around them set their blood boiling and their songs organically bred a confrontational intent which saw the punks within rise up for the freshest folk punk confrontation. Since day one the band has taken on the world, society, apathy and your thoughts with an untamed impassioned sound aligned to emotively charged lyrics with poetic angst and accusation to them. Across their albums and releases as well as a highly notable live presence, major highlights have been a regularity and the band now offer up their own favourite moments within 10 Years Without Killing Each Other, all lovingly re-recorded and further blossoming with their ever growing prowess.

From their debut album 2014, Muster to last year’s C.O.W., the band has left indelible pleasures and emotionally raw incitements on personal pleasure, the likes of Feather And Flame (2016) and Kept In The Dark (2019) and a host of live offerings in between only building their reputation and voracious fan base. 10 Years Without Killing Each Other highlights what a heady ride it has been for the foursome and all fans of agitation fuelled contention.

From album opening Mississippi’s Burning, the album shares a cavalcade of HEADSTICKS quarrel, disappointment and encouragement all wrapped in creative enterprise, the first track epitomising all with its acoustically nurtured, lyrically painted dissension carried on a rousing tango of melodic and rhythmic incitement. The uncompromising words and magnetic tones of Andrew Tranter accuse and narrate with a passionate direct breath which is more than matched by Steven Dunn’s guitar and the rhythmic trespass but again uplifting urging of bassist Nick Bayes and drummer Tom Carter; a template perpetually fuelling and creating new and fresh proposals over the years.

Peace & Quiet and My Own War swiftly prove the point in the album’s line-up, the punk rock nagging of the first and its successor’s galvanic acoustic stroll an alignment of rousing and emotive observation and contemplation from different points in the band’s journey so far but re-recorded under the experienced and ever maturing hand of the four.

Though personal tastes may wish other tracks to also lie within the album too, greedy that we are,, you cannot want for any change in its actual track choice, songs such as the rock ‘n’ roll bred Cold Grey English Skies, Paper Flowers with its provocative melodic caresses and the punk dissonance of Red Is The Colour again wormed under the skin as addictively as ever yet provoking personal involvement as never before. It is like the songs lying all together in one place have created a new depth of anthemic arousal and emotive fire to flare up with. That is equally as much down to the lyrical and vocal craft of Tranter, his snarl and bite seemingly escalated and accentuated in the concentrated environment of the release; his attack and musing in a world politically and socially not showing a want to change as apt and potent as when composed as much as a decade ago.

The mighty Dying For A Lie highlights the puppeteer aspect of the HEADSTICKS sound too, it another keen edge to their enterprise and a sabre rattling manipulation in the song and just as stirring within the call to arms of What Do You Want, where personal intimacy is cast in a senses surging holler, and the sizzling melody entangling punk clamour of Miles and Miles which dares you to try and refrain from adding your own holler.

That poetic quality of the lyrics is no better lit than within songs like the harmonica flaming Flatline Town and the sublimely haunting Tyger Tyger while the rock ‘n’ roll heart of HEADSTICKS roars from within songs like What If They’re Right?. It is all irresistibly highlighted within 10 Years Without Killing Each Other, the band’s folk roots as lustfully devoured inside the plaintive cries of tracks such as Family Tree, Are You Feeling Great, Britain and You’re Killing Me America, the album’s closing trio of tracks.

It all goes to make 10 Years Without Killing Each Other one glorious and essential release for all folk punk and agitational rock fans but it is so much more than a best of offering but a powerful statement and insight of a decade for HEADSTICKS and the plight of the world and those within.

 10 Years Without Killing Each Other is out now: available through https://headsticks.co.uk/shop.html and https://www.stprecords.org/product-page/headsticks-10-years-without-killing-each-other

http://www.headsticks.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/headsticksmusic   


Pete RingMaster 08/12/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Album, Music

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