Headpets : Plain Clothes Heroes
HEADPETS 'PLAIN CLOTHES HEROES' Produced by Kevin Komoda & Headpets -------------- 'They start 'Akin Evil Twin' with a swinging chirpy chorus of 'symbiote, symbiote, uh-oh, uh-oh, our lives entwined' spread over a very strident emo-pop-indie-rock homage to The Zombies. That they also cite The Police and The Pixies as influences is interesting. Makes for a pretty complex sound. They're deft at dynamics; it helps that Cara Jack and husband Ian split vocal duties. Lines like 'who sucked the star clear of hydrogen?' from 'Who Unplugged the Sun?' don't sound out of place, or as geeky as They Might Be Giants' 'The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas.' In fact, the writing is pretty strong. It's rarely self-conscious. It's never predictable. It seems honed by years of practice. A previous incarnation of the band was called Gods and Monsters in 1999, but they changed the name for this album (probably to avoid occlusion by the movie of the same name). Pert, whimsical. I imagine they'd do a kickass version of Klaatu's 'Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft).' They have a song that comes close to the fineness of Sloan's 'C Turns to G.' They've left little room for criticism, but they should turn the bass guitar down in the mix, regard 'Get It Together' as an experiment in punchy sound that just doesn't gel, and figure out just what makes 'Sundowning' so great and do lots more of it. Gabino Travassos, MOTE Magazine, Edmonton, AB ----------------- 'The album as a whole is pretty entertaining. It would make a good soundtrack to an indie movie.' - The Silhouette, Hamilton, ON ----------------- Four school teachers from Cobourg, Ontario would seem an unlikely bunch to put out the finest record to come out of Canada since the New Pornographers' 'Mass Romantic' release of 2000. That might seem like extreme praise, but it's earned on the basis of a sound that's refreshingly unique and nostaligically familiar all in the same shot. Headpets fuse stylings from 20-year intervals in a way which makes this disc an irresistible listen. 60s, 80s, and 2k's (or whatever this decade is supposed to be called) are blended like cream and sugar in a good mountain roast of indie pop goodness with a twee-punk-esque chocolate sprinkle. Produced by Kevin Komoda and recorded in both Cobourg and Montreal, Headpets' greatest strength is in creating songs that go beyond the usual boundary of verse, chorus, verse, brige and chorus again. Their songs keep building within, and instead of offering the usual solo climax, they offer a Multiple Musical Orgasm of hooks that catch numerous times per track, and the sequence of tunes flow effortlessly. Ian & Cara Jack share vocal duties, and it's a contrast that complements -- oxymoron intended. Cara delivers a sound reminiscent of late 60s English folk-pop, while Ian's charm rests in a revenge-of-the-nerd voice that captures the listener mercilessly. The harmonies are flawless, the solos entice and the music, rounded out by Ian's guitar & piano/keys, as well as Geoffrey Bemrose's base and the drumming of Daniel Stokes, is so fun and simultaneously thoughtful that repeated plays can create a serious listening-to-Headpets addiction. Outstanding tracks are 'The Escapist,' 'Elevator' (the best example of the aforementioned M.M.O.), 'Celestial Fashion Show' (an acoustic masterpiece), 'Akin Evil Twin,' 'Who Unplugged the Sun?' (harmonies galore!) 'Crows & Cranes' and 'Twenty Minutes Too Late,' while the others lay in the 'pretty damn good' category. This band is a winner and 'Plain Clothes Heroes' has cemented a spot in the best-of for 2003 (and not just for Canada, but 'best-of' period). Give these teachers a shiny MacIntosh and an A+. Andreas Gripp, Music Director CHRW 94.7 FM, London, Canada --------------- 'It's the band's knack for penning hook-ridden two-minute pop tunes that makes you forget the fact that they look like the remaining members of the Facts of Life fan club. With influences that lie in the Matthew Sweet, Sloan, Feelies range, if you don't mind bands that have seen the softer side of Sears definitely check out the Headpets' - Exclaim! Magazine -------------- We are the Headpets: a four-piece collective of music lovers and educators from Central-Eastern Ontario. We do not belong to a scene, but we see us as a part of the big picture. We were lucky enough to meet Mr. Kevin Komoda - an invaluable member of the Montreal music community and a true music fan who currently plays in the very cool Nanobot Auxilliary Ballet and used to play in the very cool Pest 5000. Between stints in our hometown of Cobourg and Montreal, he helped us to bridge our influences and create our debut 'Plain Clothes Heroes', which incidentally is released on our own imprint Bipolarecords. The record was mixed by Mr. Komoda with Ian's occasional outburst at Hotel 2 Tango (where the Dears, Tricky Woo and Godspeed You Black Emperor! Have worked) in Montreal between September and December 2001. The recording was mastered by Mr. Noah 'Constrictor' Mintz (Noah's Arkweld, Hhead) at Lacquer Channel, Toronto in April 2002. Between this excitement, our families and our jobs - we had to take some time off and travel Europe. We are really proud to finally offer you the result in 2003 and hope you enjoy the record. Besides their alter-egos as elementary school teachers, Ian is an author who co-wrote the recent Canadian Music tome Have Not Been The Same: The CanRock Renaissance (ECW Press, 2001). Cara and Geoff both sideline as actors in local theatre. Dan is not an actor, but he is a talented Ultimate Frisbee player nonetheless. Released at the end of the palindrome year 2002 - Headpets will focus on 2003 as a year to expand beyond their own backyard. They've already been heard on MTV programming and look forward to invade a few more ears. For further information please contact Bipolarecords: Andrew Peters apeters@uwo. Ca or Ian Jack bipolar@sympatico. Ca Bipolarecords P.O. Box 1197 Cobourg, ON CANADA K9A 1M0.