False Heads – ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’

By Andy Joice

It’s been a long time coming – but after four years of hard graft, plenty of gigs supporting huge names, and releasing two exceptional EPs, False Heads are finally dropping debut album ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’. There are big expectations of the London three piece, and even Iggy Pop – the Godfather Of Punk himself – has outed himself as a fan.

With such an anticipated release, it’s sometimes difficult to deliver, particularly when you’ve managed to cultivate a distinctive sound. Fortunately, False Heads have been able to build upon that sound, making the louder parts more explosive and the quieter moments all the more reserved.

While some fans may be slightly disappointed by the inclusion of six previously released songs on the album, it’s a genius bit of foresight, building a bridge between their older – but newly polished – tracks, and the totally fresh ones. It allows new listeners to get a handle on their entire discography, without the overwhelming thought of going back to listen to everything. Although they’ve been re-produced, they blend together seamlessly with the newer works, creating a warped time machine of distortion. It works as a reminder of how far they’ve come since the release of their 2017 ‘Gutter Press’ EP, featuring ‘Twenty Nothing’, ‘Slew’, and ‘Comfort Consumption’, and their 2018 release, ‘Less Is Better’, the source of ‘Help Yourself’ and ‘Wrap Up’.

‘Slease’, released as a single just under a year before the release of this album, features one of the most distinctive basslines on the album. Meatier than a backstreet butchers, there’s no subtlety in the driving power and frantic energy – and with a chorus of “the state of you, the state of me”, it’s one that’s not only guaranteed to get live audiences screaming the lyrics back at the band, but also likely to cause a fair few mosh pit injuries.

The clue is perhaps in the title, but dreams are a constant theme throughout the early part of the record, with the first three tracks making references to dreaming and nightmares, waking and sleeping, painting pictures like a musical Van Gogh. With the singalong chorus of ‘Fall Around’ giving the record its title, it’s somehow whimsical and versatile, whilst deftly making valid points on miscommunication within society.

The rerecordings of ‘Twenty Nothing’ and ‘Slew’ are welcoming, with each sounding bigger and brasher than before, the latter featuring one of the greatest Queens Of The Stone Age riffs not performed by Queens Of The Stone Age – both are spat by vocalist Luke Griffiths with a bitter venom that resonates with the anti-press messages found in both tracks.

With ‘Rabbit Hole’ closing the album in a wall of thunderous noise, it creates the perfect contrast with the gentle tones of opening track ‘Whatever You Please’. Almost as if an example of what their future will sound like, Jake Elliot’s menacing basslines interweave with Barney Nash’s maniacal drums, building into a crescendo of distorted bliss – the sort of sound that makes you want to put your fist straight through a brick wall.

As a whole, ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ is outstanding – despite half the songs having been released previously, the amalgamation of the old and new creates a thematically cohesive sound. The rises and falls that come with their development keeps the whole album on its toes; this isn’t a record where every song will stand out on its own, but one that’s the sum of its parts. Wandering basslines litter each track, vocal harmonies are everywhere, and the political and societal rage is abundant. If this is the strength of False Heads’ debut, we can’t wait to see what’s in the future.

ANDY JOICE

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