HeadQuarters - Get Your Head On ep (Group 4 Music and Films)

Michael Lynch checks out the latest offering by the HeadQuarters and finds it all good.

HeadQuarters - Get Your Head On ep (Group 4 Music and Films)HeadQuarters are the Mod Hatters of the New York scene, and have been for several years now. Breaking big via their appearance in the 2000 acclaimed underground film American Mod (notable for being the last film appearance of the late Quentin Crisp), HeadQuarters now, as then, mix up a soup of classic Mod elements from both the 1960s and 1970s movements. But to their credit, instead of simply trying to replicate 1966 or 1978 (they even have prominent synthesizer on their songs), they put their main focus on making their songs strong and memorable... and that they are.

Their latest EP, Get Your Head On, houses five of their stage favorites, and taken together, the songs comprise a portable HeadQuarters concert.

Charles Wallace is HeadQuarters' leader, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist, above harmonies from keyboardist Augustus Payne, lead guitarist Nick Purpura and bassist Matt Smythe, while the driving drumbeat comes from Tim Perzan.

"Good Thing (Gone Wrong)" gets the disc off to a pounding start with power chords and heavy drums. But the melody and Who-ish harmonies attest that there's more to HeadQuarters than just rocking out... they wrap their musical aggression around catchy hooks and melodies. Slightly reminiscent of The Red Squares' freakbeat classic "You Can Be My Baby," this song sets the general tone for the entire EP.

Second in line is "Mai Mai For Saturday." This one has the catchiest chorus of the disc... "Shine a light, Saturday, shine your light on Mai." The song is as high charged as a Saturday night of Modness should be.

"Tunnel Vision" is a standout track, the band even recently shooting a video for the song during and after a performance at LIT in New York City. In keeping with the lyrical theme, the song has a psychedelic feel that adorns but wisely does not override the main song, which again is catchy and hook-driven. As a result, it's a multipurpose HeadQuarters song...you can dance to it, or you can ride out its psychedelic waves. Some cool speaker to speaker electronic sounds make this one especially enjoyable in headsets.

Since HeadQuarters chose not to do so anywhere on the CD packaging, I'll take upon myself to dedicate Track Four to Rupert Murdoch, as they often do in their live set. Said song, "Crosswords," has long been one of my favorite moments of their shows... particularly the melody on "when I'm coming dow-ow-own" (and its equivalents in subsequent verses) in which some great harmonies between Charles and Augustus color a chordal drop from A to G. Makes for very nice listening, and musically is my favorite track... though it's the next and final selection that I believe has the disc's best lyrics:

As the music of HeadQuarters is high-energy Mod-friendly party friendly, it's only fitting that the disc ends with their live staple "Day In Bed," an ode to the morning after those parties, contemplating the previous evening's shenanigans and conversations. A twangy jangly guitar riff leads us into a flawless pleasant dual lead vocal. The song itself alternates between rocking sections and softer moments (the moments of reflection). Lyrically, the song ends with intentions to go back out partying, his self-assigned timeout period over.

Get Your Head On succeeds both ways: Those who pack the New York clubs to see HeadQuarters at their high energy shows will enjoy hearing the songs on disc... and those who have yet to see them live who hear this disc will no doubt be checking out the gig listings at www.hqmusic.net to know where Headquarters will strike next.

Highly recommended.

© Michael Lynch 2005 - 2015
[Published 16 September 2005]
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About the author

Michael Lynch is a new contributor to Uppers from the state of New York in the USA, an accomplished pop (60's kind) musician, Michael is one third of "Pop Gear" a 60's DJ nite in the Big Apple.

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Judi Onlinejan 29 2015 9:19AM
I am truly inspired by this online journal! Extremely clear clarification of issues is given and it is open to every living soul. I have perused your post, truly you have given this extraordinary informative data about it.
HeadQuartersjan 31 2006 12:40PM
Thanks for the comments people, we read them regularly! Thanks also to Michael Lynch.

Look for us in the UK in April, 2006!
samantha paulokt 12 2005 1:13PM
These guys were so awesome in LA!There my favorite new band!
yabba dabbaokt 6 2005 10:09PM
I heard the guitarist is an international playboy
brian piercesep 30 2005 1:06PM
I saw headquarters play last night in NYC they we fantastic!
amy reznorsep 28 2005 2:34PM
I saw these guys play in chicago they were amazing
april jonessep 28 2005 11:38AM
I love this
sarah burnssep 27 2005 4:41PM
This guys are awesome! defiantly a band to watch for!
mike sanchezsep 26 2005 9:01PM
This Is a great Ep
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