Change the Game
posted on 7/2005 By:
Spinning Heads are something of a minor rarity these days. While bristling, dissonant hardcore has been relatively commonplace for the last four or five years, the scene’s roots reach back to the early and middle nineties, and it is from this musical sedimentary layer that this French mob culls much of their sound. A familiarity with a good cross-section of both the Amphetamine Reptile and Hydrahead catalogues will go a long way towards understanding the lineage of the music present on Change the Game and preparing the listener for what is contained within. For the uninitiated: stick in your ear plugs and strap on your wading boots, because this shit is gonna get noisy.
Spinning Heads contains members that have been playing in various bands (most notably Tantrum) for ten years and more, so their fluency in their chosen style is to be expected. After all, this is a band experienced enough to have actually been around for Unsane’s rise from the New York underground, and said longevity is evident on the noise-rock trudge of “Put One’s Finger On Sore.” This is one of the major dividing points between Spinning Heads and their more contemporary-sounding ‘core colleagues; where the modern variant of this style flutters and convulses with The Dillinger Escape Plan’s erratic intensity, Spinning Heads maintain a more tempered pace and wallow in the waves of acidic, discordant chordage to create a scarred, sneering sound. That’s not to say that the band is afraid to occasionally step up the speed; “Japan” displays some slightly more recent hardcore influences with a whirring Botch/Coalesce technicality and some unfortunate Jake Bannon-inspired quasi-clean singing. Nor do they hide behind their own tuneless attack, as “Rocky” and the Helmet-like “Words Can’t Explain” contain some melodic guitar leads that are rendered perhaps more effective than they would be without the waste-deep guitar sludge flanking them. Even the band’s heavily distorted bass and vocals recall the disappeared noisecore bands of 90’s yore; unfortunately, both are somewhat underpowered in the mix, stealing away some of the band’s otherwise potent ferocity.
While this band has technically existed for quite a while, it is certainly worth noting that this is their debut full-length release. This sub-thirty-minute record is a reliable indication of the band’s potential for noisy vitriol, but the fact that most of the tracks are restricted to less than three minutes prevents them from really stretching their jagged legs. The obvious room to grow left on Change the Game might herald some real devastation on the group’s next few albums, but until then, this little pitbull of a record is certainly worth the price of admission.
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