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Doc & the Headshrinkers


Arriving late to this particular party, Famous Last Words caught wind of the wild rock ‘n’ roll antics of Wales based rock ‘n’ rollers, Dave & the Headshrinkers, via a live festival performance that appeared to shake the very foundations it was staged, in addition to waking up the local neighbourhood. Fast forward a year or two and the band’s sophomore album ‘Crashland’ has firmly established them as talented songwriters and a force to be reckoned with. Given the three year gap it has taken FLW to catchup with this branch of rock ‘n’ roll, any concerns regarding time lost is instantly forgotten once the opening salvo of ‘Mrs Tolley’, ‘I’ve Got Something Good For You’ and ‘High School Reject’ unleash their raw rockin’ sounds and lyrics that veer between revenge and steely determination. It makes for an impressive start  where Tchaikovsky is mentioned in the same breath as Chuck Berry (‘Mrs Tolley’) and traditional elements of rockabilly, spliced with rock ‘n’ roll, can be heard (‘I’ve Got Something…’), in addition to Doc & the Headshrinkers own take on these genres and best highlighted by the bruised yet still bustling ‘High School Reject’. It’s rock ‘n’ roll at its fullest attitude. Such feelings continue apace via the combined mouthful of words and frantic rhythm of ‘It Got In The Way’ that sees the band swinging from the chandeliers which, had it been a recent single release, could have been the party anthem to end this turbulent year given its punk-a-billy feel and open interpretation of its title that certainly applies in the present. As ‘Crashland’ continues to unravel its contents, the impression given is one of an album that improves with each and every layer where songs become even more considered ‘I’ll See You In Hell’, ‘Love Lies Lost’ and the tightly knitted rhythm and vocals of ‘Dig A Bone’ to cite a few. The influences are wide (Rockabilly, country (& spaghetti western), rock ‘n’ roll, punk, etc.) but often expressed subtly throughout ‘Crashland’. Therefore, accusations of straying from its main source (i.e. rock ‘n’ roll) is unwarranted, more that Doc & the Headshrinkers is a band open to ideas and free of fear when it comes to writing their own compositions. Long may that continue as the second album is a raging success with plenty of creative threads to pursue if the trio decide to undertake album number three.

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