"EP" (GRRR Records)
Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton
Let me go off on a little tangent here. I remember way back in the day when Stryper (remember them?) were making the rounds, spreading the word of God and using heavy metal music to do it. They were getting pretty popular, too, filling up venues and making a splash amidst all the "demons" of rock (i.e., Ozzy, KISS, AC/DC, etc.). The media ate it up.
At the time, I was working at a movie theater and one of the people I worked with (who was an asshole and will remain nameless) was one of those guys who went to church every Sunday, talked about God all the time and thought he was better than you because he was "saved." Anyway, one day we got to talking about Stryper and how I thought it was cool that they were using rock'n'roll to get their message across. This guy responded by saying, "Well, I like their message, but I don't think they're going about the right way of delivering it."
And I thought - what a pompous ass. Just because Stryper wasn't playing music that this guy could relate to (i.e., Barry Manilow and Air Supply, I kid you not) their method of delivering the word of God didn't count. In other words, because they looked different and wore spandex, their word wasn't as good as his. (All right, maybe I can't blame him for not liking the spandex.) Ultimately, he would rather the word wasn't spread than be spread by someone like Stryper.
Anyway, back to today, nearly 20 years later. Headnoise's "E.P." arrives in my mailbox. One look at the cover and you figure they're another Rancid rip-off. Pay closer attention, however, and you'll discover that Headnoise is one of those bands that uses their music - in this case, pretty hardcore punk - to convey their beliefs and their faith in God. One day, I found myself discussing this with a colleague - in this case, someone I pretty much respect. This guy's quite a bit more religous than I am. And what does he say when I show him Headnoise's "EP" CD? You got it. "Well, I like their message, but I don't think they're going about the right way of delivering it." Man. Do times never change?
Okay. Stepping off my soap box here and talking about Headnoise. As I mentioned, Headnoise are a pretty hardcore punk band along the lines of Rancid, Black Flag or perhaps even X. Their songs are fast and furious, rough-edged to the max and about two minutes long each. It's not every punk band that boasts a female lead vocalist but Edie does the honors here with passion and precision. The lyrics, as one might expect from a punk rock gospel band, are inspirational, insightful and often very religious.
And I don't know why this particular CD is called "EP." It's got 14 songs on it and has a running time of 59 minutes and 14 seconds. Sounds like a LP to me.
The bottom line is that Headnoise is still great rock'n'roll, no matter what the message. If you're into old style punk (not the newstyle stuff like The Offspring and Green Day) Headnoise will give you a quick kick in the pants.
For more information, check out http://www.headnoise.org.
A classic. This record will kick your ass.
Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.
So-so. You've heard better.
Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.
Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.
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Copyright © 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights
Revised: 04 Sep 2002 02:02:46 -0500.