Proclaimed as ‘the future of rock ‘n’ roll by Ramones manager Danny Fields back in 2015 and flagged by ‘The Independent’ as ones to watch 3 years later, AND after a brace of critically-lauded EPs, unveiled their debut album, ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ in March 2020. Combining a selection of previous single and EP tracks with some brand new cuts, it went down well, but with no scope for touring activity to being the album to new or existing fans, what is there to do?
How about a re-release in flash silver vinyl with a couple of bonus tracks? Yes, 10 months on, ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ is receiving a reissue on limited edition ‘Vinyl Effect CD’ containing 2 additional tracks, plus a limited edition silver vinyl LP, with an exclusive rework of ‘Twenty Nothing’ from Joe Cross (The Courteeners) for good measure. ‘Think QOTSA and The Pixies with a bit of The Ramones thrown in for good measure’, says the press release. Try not to think cash-in milking the fans without necessarily doing anything to hook news fans, then. Cynical sods.
But then, there’s the question: having scored 1 million streams on Spotify and over 500K on Apple Music is there a need for this? Well, yes: if you’ve managed to find any news that isn’t Covid, Brexit, Trump, or the collapsing economy and hospitality industry, you’ll have possibly seen the groundswell of opposition to the way streaming services fleece artists and that it’s only major-league artists who really make anything from them, but even then not a fraction of the proceeds siphoned off by the labels of said major-league artists. It’s always in the sale of merchandise, largely shifted through touring that bands make what little money they do, so fair play that ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ should get a second push.
If nothing else, it reminds us that False Heads have a knack for combining melody with a raw (post) punk edge, while offering so much more, with lumbering, lurching grunge-inspired riffery and jagged passion.
‘Whatever You Please’ ranges from the subtle intro to the raging climax, with hints of The Cooper Temple Clause minus the keyboards and crackle of digital detail and kicks off the album with a slow lure that explodes into something entirely different halfway through. The aforementioned ‘Twenty Nothing’ is a classic grunger, but as much as it evokes the spirit of Nirvana, it – and much of the album – draws lines of influence to Bivouac, Kerbdog, and Dinosaur Pile-Up and a slew of bands who crashed against the harbour walls on a second wave of grunge.
A portion of the songs could reasonably be described as standard/middling alt rock, but when they do slip into middling mode, songs like ‘Fall Around’ are strong on the hooks.
There’s no question that this is an album that’s big on thrills and guitar-driven energy. The future of rock ‘n’ roll? Well, the future is already written in the past, and for anyone who’s been around a while, they’ll probably sound rather like a less frantic Pulled Apart by Horses, among others. But with the perfect blend of big guitars and snagsome hooks delivered with a sneer and a snarl, conveying a bucketload of angst in an accessible format, ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ hits all the critical spots at the right level, and as such appeals to a broad base without sounding contrived, and busting with energy, it is, without question, an exhilarating album – and if you’ve not already discovered it, now’s probably the time.