Headcharger - The End Starts Here
XIII bis
Hard Rock, Hardcore
14 songs (54:36)
Release year: 2010
Headcharger, XIII bis
Reviewed by Goat

Time to rock, and France’s Headcharger provide a wonderful argument for the cessation of all but groove-ridden good times with third full-length The End Starts Here. Providing both foot-tapping downtuned stomp and melodic lead guitar by the bucketload, the band have ability and passion, easily capable of writing hooks and catchy choruses and keeping you listening and interested for the full running length. There’s a touch of Hardcore to some of vocalist Seb’s yowls and the groovy riffs certainly take as much influence from Clutch’s early days as they do the later years, if not moreso – it’s a nice addition to the Hard Rock template, making for an overall sound that has punch and vigour with none of Hardcore’s negative aspects to hold it back.

The majority of tracks stick to the three-four minute formula, but the band certainly don’t, and mix it up with a clear view to making the album as fun as possible for the listener – acoustic interlude Breathe In is one example, a nice intro to the driving heaviness of Breathe Out, which slows to almost Sludge-Rock towards the end. Down My Neck has a neat Country-fried feel to it here and there, the kind of thing that The Allman Brothers might come up with were they born in a different decade and with a completely different set of influences, whilst Harvey Keitel’s Syndrome seems to be acoustic twang and folksy singsong. Headcharger are excellent at keeping things moving; Would You? has an excellent bit of backing harmonica, rolling along with abandon, and the following punky stomp and screechy chorus of A Thousand Tides is infectious enough to catch any ears.

It’s a fair bet that those who listen to Headcharger expecting Deep Purple will be in for a shock. The likes of The Invention Of Solitude are far too weighted towards the Hardcore side to really appeal to Classic Rockers, although The Gambler has enough groove to have crossover appeal. I found myself enjoying The End Starts Here a lot, despite not being very pit-friendly at all – the band know what they’re doing, and the frequent guitar widdling proves that they know what their audience is into. I challenge any rock fan not to enjoy the catchy Be My Betty Page, or the closing grandiosity of ballad Something, Someone – it may not be a stunningly original sound, but it is great fun to listen to, and proof that Headcharger deserve to be famous outside their homeland as well as inside it.

Killing Songs :
Intoxicated, Without A Nation, Breathe Out, Down My Neck, Would You?, The Gambler, Be My Betty Page
Goat quoted 72 / 100
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