Headache: “Discography” CD and mini book review

Headache: “Discography” CD and mini book (Life is Abuse Records)

Review by Kent Manthie

It is a good thing to see this culture evolving into the jaded paradigm of Fahrenheit 9/11 and “The DaVinci Code” these days; Sartre would feel vindicated. One way of looking at the rise of cynicism is to say that at least people aren’t so naïve as they used to be in the old days. At least we’re not so blind that we trust governments, so-called “leaders” and at least we don’t have any respect for diabolical, greedy, soul-killing corporate larceny and the lying mass media they control. Right? Nihilism is a new kind of trendy lifestyle. Everyone has some sort of hidden grudges that in most, just simmer inside forever. Others have healthy outlets for their aggression; hobbies, jobs or sidelines that are ways of blowing off steam, so to speak. Things like sports, meditation, running, karate, et cetera, et cetera, are things to exorcise that anger, frustration, stress; still more people end up snapping and that’s when you get a scene where a dude, just fired, humiliated, made a fool of, et cetera, brings an M-16 he’s kept under his bed for just such a scenario to his place of employment and shoots a bunch of people, number one on the list being the boss. Uh-oh.
Headache! OW – you’re giving me a headache! That is what society today will do – give you a headache; make you nauseated, indigested, fatigued, stressed out, dead. That is where good, loud, raucous rock & roll comes in; especially non-commercial, independent, DIY punk rock.
A mission statement of anarchy, self-expressive catharsis, pointing fingers at what is making people want to do nothing but vomit, that is what this is, this being “Discography a quite literal title, being that the 32 tracks on this CD comprise this punk combo’s catalog.” The band is Headache and their album is titled, simply, “Discography.” Half the charm (at least) of this particular little CD is the fat booklet that is the CD cover. In fact, the CD itself is hidden at the end of it in a little red paper sleeve. What you get is a hundred pages of lyrics, for one; all the lyrics to the songs and interspersed throughout are psychotic doodlings, intricate artwork, trippy pictures, a couple photos, like the close up of the earthworms, plus some mad commix, wild artistic licenses here and there, wicked art to accompany the music, a real experience it is. It speaks volumes, crying out for attention; hey you – look over here, see how it is in the underground world that is oozing with worms and dirt and trash and shit.
Anyway, this stuff is actually kind of old – it was recorded in 1997, a long time ago. Nine years gone by. What the hell is it doing on my desk now, in the summer of 2006? They might not even be alive anymore. Whoa. It is a paean to the hardest of hard-core fans – those wild boyz who are still wearing their first leather biker jacket. But the music lives on; the music, man, that is where it’s at with these limeys (j/k).
So, Life is Abuse came to the rescue and put out this cool punk-art-masterpiece. A real cool bag of trickses it is, it is. They being the hard-core, thrash-metal indie label that matters in the hearts of white boys everywhere.
Well, anyway, the music here is the coolest part. The singer is a screamer that adds little to a fabulous, low-fi punk jam going on, with a few exceptions. However, that doesn’t really detract; it may have been a little jarring at first hearing, but it soon became just another trademark, what sets Headache apart from say, the Cramps, or some other DIY underground band. Another group that comes to mind while listening to this is James Chance & the Contortionists.
So, for you dance enthusiasts out there, here is a CD with 32 tracks on it. 32 two minute swirling dervish-like freak-outs fresh for your frantic pleasure-shopping, that is what makes up the entirety of “Discography”, what ever else you may pick up from this interesting new disc, you won’t get underwhelmed; you won’t find yourself saying “is that all there is?” You will wake up the next morning feeling a little dizzy, as a matter of fact. There ought to be a warning label on here somewhere, a little note of caution that reads something like: “may cause lightheadedness and hyperactivity; may be habit forming.” (http://www.lifeisabuse.com) –KM.

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