While their name alludes to being smacked in the bonce, sonically Nottingham’s Bloody Head have always been more like a series of slow motion kicks to the bollocks. They hit right where it hurts, leave your guts feeling rattled and your ears ringing. However, unlike a lot of their bludgeoning peers, they’re still capable of writing actual tunes, rather than relying on sheer assault. They’re a psych rock band at heart, like a young Hawkwind if they’d spent more money on distortion pedals and amps than acid.
And so The Temple Pillars Dissolve Into The Clouds is as heavy and raucous as what they’ve done before, but it feels a little more like they’re here to unashamedly kick out the jams this time around. They haven’t cleaned up from the previous Freedom/Mobility/Speed – the peak of Bloody Headedness to date as it were – but they seem a little less nihilistic this time around, like they want to bathe you in volume rather than simply destroy you with it.
That’s not to say their fuzzed out primitivism has been cleaned up at all. Homeopathic Mountains and particularly Glory Holes are as discordant a battering as anything they’ve done before. But there’s a sense of space, both in terms of dynamics and parallel dimensions, on this record. It’s there in the way This Could Be Paradise eases in rather than blows the doors off, or in the almost motorik Your World Is As Old As You.
They’re a psych rock band at heart, like a young Hawkwind if they’d spent more money on distortion pedals and amps than acid…
That psych edge is most evident on the duo of The Process Is Forever and particularly the surprisingly upbeat ascent into amp Valhalla that is St Elsewhere And The Altar Of Forever. You can sense the spirit of some of the UK’s more astral minded riff forefathers (think Loop or particularly Spacemen 3) pushing through the layers of excoriating guitars, feel the band giving in to the sheer joy of the waves of sound they’re creating.
Less hideous perhaps, more hypnotic certainly, if you’re expecting one dimensional filth rock from Bloody Head this time around you may leave disappointed. What you’ll get instead is the sound of a band mastering their own take on noised out rock, while at the same time expanding their own boundaries. Play loud and lose your mind.
Scribed by: Jamie Grimes