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Headshear — Headshear
(Big Balloon Music BBM-1301, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

Headshear Cover art

Guitar junkies wake up! This one’s for you. I’ve had the good fortune to see this instrumental four-piece play a couple times around the Bay Area, and the varied and mesmerizing multi-guitar sound they present in a live setting is reproduced perfectly on this, their debut CD. Sometimes it’s a raucous and dirty distorted grunge, sometimes textures of little repeating melodic cells, sometimes screaming sustains over intertwining string inventions, or even all out jamming that goes wherever it goes, just about anything is possible across these nine tracks. Primary guitarists are Gwynn Adams and Dierdre Lynds, often augmented by a third additional guitarist (Igor Abuladze or Wally Scharold, track depending), as well as amazing bassist Van Spragins, who spends a lot of time percolating high in the mix and dueling with the six-stringers; it’s all tied together by drummer Matthew Guggemos. These guys can rock, swing, get mighty funky, and even strike a tasty jazz vein for a switch. The most evident influence at work is probably Crimson, 70s, 80s and beyond, but these guys are no knock-off by any means, and I sense little of that Guitar Craft type perfectionism at work here (with the exception of closer “The Bitter Cold,” which proves they can if they want to); for the most part, Headshear is a lot more punchy and ‘raw goods.’ Overall, a very solid and impressive opening move.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Headshear

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