The Dead Heads – Holy Smokes

Artist: The Dead Heads
title: Holy Smokes
keywords: experimental comedy crazy electronic keyboard weird United States
reviewer: Simon Hit

The Dead Heads are in their own words ‘shooting for the stars’, but to me they sound as if they have been stuck in a cage in a mad max scenario, ready to be placed into the ring in which a Tina Turner in mini skirt would announce their future battle against a unbeatable case of pure cellulite. Somehow I keep on making ‘slice my wrists’ dance moves all throughout this album. I add ‘the invisible beat yourself with a cucumber in the face’ dance, just to give it that extra jus!

They rock as if they had been sneaking out of a delirious episode of a rejected Sesame street episode. They are singing together like a band of brothers, sometimes they inject a certain Beastie Boys in their style, or go in full Oompa Loompa mood, but mostly it’s more deep fried cool aid material. I imagine them playing in a saloon behind a safety net, receiving lots of thrown bottles from an audience that can only react to the music by violent interaction. They are dropping things like ‘what’s so funny, this ain’t no joke’ & I’m scratching my head with every tune as I can’t find the laughter. There is no hair on my head left, but that saves barber shop costs. They sing it’s a ‘Lizard’s world and my blood is cold’ and I’m terribly confused. Who are these people and what are they chatting about?

They have banjo’s, programmed beats and a certain level of vibe that makes you feel as if you are listening to a group of military personnel that had been a bit too much without action. They have harmonies, songs about fishing, accordions, electric guitars and obviously had a lot of fun when recording this all. Sometimes this fun gets to you, wraps around your heart and makes the ‘stab yourself dance move’ move on for something nicer & friendlier. Still, somehow the action of throwing yourself in a nearby volcano is pretty much dominating when you find yourself jerking off to these tunes.

Yet, there is something in it that keeps you glued to the album, it’s like some sort of unstoppable self-torture. The music is good, but somehow the concepts and stories within it makes me personally feel very disconnected… The music makes me want to dig a hole in the ground and ask some stranger to fill it up with sand. It won’t stop the music, but maybe in this weird position things become clearer? Maybe fill it up with water, so I can understand The Dead Heads singing about being in a water hole?

There are some really cool moments though, like for example the massive big beats and rather evil melody on ‘Omni Inn’, but as it’s almost the last song on the album it might take long for a un-skippable listener to be able to reach it. It’s here that a voice drops the question ‘Am I in Hell?’ and in all honesty, I believe that might be the answer: Yes, you are in Hell. And the Dead Heads will torture our ears for the rest of eternity! The album title ‘Holy Smokes’ probably refers to the never ending burning sensation of the devil’s hot flames! Why will we keep listening to this album, why the self-tormenting action? I guess because Hell is fun… And if this album is “Hell” than this must be good fun…

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