Breaking all sorts of boundaries with their music, lyrics, and overall no-shit attitudes, False Heads have made yet another crack in the music industry with release of new EP Gutter Press. Luke, Jake and Barney have been one of the most exciting bands to emerge over the last year and a bit, and already have the support of Iggy Pop, This Feeling promoters, and are signed to the 25 Hour Convenience Store record label which is owned by The Libertines’ Gary Powell. Gutter Press is an explosive EP, featuring five unreal tracks; Twentynothing, Thick Skin, Weigh In, Slew and Comfort Consumption. The EP really is blinding; their tracks are electric, full of so much energy and power and frustration. The EP has a very anti-establishment edge to it, something practised by musicians Luke grew up listening to, such as Eminem and Nirvana. What I like so much about the band is how gritty and cutting edge their music is; it’s got this wild grunge quality, very intense and raw, with blunt cynicism cropping up in their lyrics. Thick Skin, Weigh In and Slew had already been released prior to the EP release, and it was seeing these tracks live last year which got me into False Heads in the fist place. Slew is undoubtedly one of the best rock tracks out there; the heavy catchiness of that raucous distorted riff is unbelievable, and it completely tears the track to pieces. Luke’s vocal throughout the EP is very blunt too, full of the attitude and cynical sarcasm which is so key in post punk and grunge music. His vocals are especially good on lead single Twentynothing, which again has this amazing guitar riff from the very start. The attitude behind the EP is very much a two fingers up to the establishment, a big ‘fuck you’ to what the music industry (and political establishment for that matter) delivers. From the aggression and powerful punk feel of tracks on the EP like Thick Skin, I can already see the hectic mad moshpits the band are going to draw when playing these tracks live.
The EP opens up with Twentynothing, which for some reason reminds me of Blur’s Song 2. The way Luke delivers his vocals are so cutting and harsh, with that gritty London punk undertone to his voice. ‘We will keep you in the dark’ he yells, with the chorus crashing down in the most aggressive powerful way. The EP’s name- Gutter Press– is taken out of the lyrics to Twentynothing with that gritty sharp chord progression playing in the background. The track builds up in intensity as it goes on, with the chorus being a proper rowdy, headbanger chorus. It’s abrasive and gutsy, full of the frustrated attitude that makes False Heads so unique and exciting (and a bit fucked up too). Next up is Thick Skin, which is a heavy piece of angry bluntness. ‘Spit, cough and pass it around’ Luke spits into the mic, with that heavy attitude loud and in your face. The track is one of my favourites on the EP, and it’s one fans are well aware of as the band released it as a single last year alongside Slew. It’s the build-up of the guitar, and that heavy abrasive riff which makes the track so ridiculously good. Similarly, Weigh In does this too with more of an emphasis on the bass which Jake plays with so much skill and energy. The lyrics are blunt and cutting too, one of my favourite lines in the track being ‘you are hung, drawn and quartered- that’s my idea of torture.’ The bass riff is really catchy and the drumming from Barney is especially hostile and dynamic too. The track features moments without the lead guitar playing too, which gives it this feel of a build-up, in terms of anticipating the heavy crashing drop of the chorus. Luke’s vocal is very accented too, with his East London accent helping give the EP a more nostalgic 70s punk feel. That drop before the last chorus is possibly one of the best on the EP, one which I always fucking love live (having seen the band twice live now).
Slew is the next track, and as already mentioned it’s my favourite on the EP. That riff is the most hectic, raucous piece of music I’ve heard in years, reminding me so much of bands like Nirvana in terms of meticulous skill (riff wise) and energy. The track picks up on nuances and social commentaries too, and that’s what is so brilliant about False Heads- there’s a bitterness and anger there which helps their tracks connect with each listener in a different way. Comfort Consumption is almost the dark horse track on the EP- it stands out a lot due to the more delicate riff and slower feel it has. It doesn’t lack punk aggression though, with the title itself being a piece of social commentary. ‘My insides are out’ Luke repeats throughout the track, as well as the line ‘these thoughts don’t belong to me.’ It’s a brilliant track, with the guitar more soft and calm as opposed to the rest of the EP. It then picks up in pace halfway through, before the drums and guitar crash down in sync rounding off the EP with that heaviness and blaring distortion which is so unique to False Heads.
On False Heads, rock icon Iggy Pop stated; ‘these kids make a lot of noise, I like it’- too fucking right they do. For the band’s debut EP, Gutter Press rips up the meaning of modern day punk, breaking all the established boundaries put in place for rock music.
EP rating: ★★★★★
The band will be playing an EP launch show on Saturday (11/3/17) at Nambucca in London; you can purchase last minute tickets here.