Tuesday 29 November 2016

“11 is one louder”: Headless Kross guitarist/vocalist Tommy Duffin picks his Top 5 from the psychedelic to the sludge

With their music seemingly forged from grit and steel, Headless Kross have been plying their trade since 2011; certainly the band’s compositions are the perfect soundtrack to the impending winter. Releasing their debut album “Bear” in 2011, a self released split with War Iron and a split with Lazarus Blackstar would follow.  Volumes” the band’s second full length was released in April 2015 and recorded at Skyhammer Studio.  Comprising of 3 tracks their compositions had enough breathing space to ensnare and hypnotise the listener, but retain the thickness of their sound and would see the band continue as Glasgow’s No.1 volume dealers. 

It is true to say that Headless Kross have evolved as a band, and whilst “Volumes” would see the band shedding some of their sludge doom roots,  their new album “Projections 1” released on November 18th, via  At War With False Noise is an album of Long songs, deep grooves  and tortured vocals”. Today we invite guitarist/vocalist Tommy Duffin to choose his top 5 albums according to the genre their own band is known for. That genre is loosely speaking psychedelia, sludge and doom, so it is time to turn it up to 11 and checkout some classic picks from Glasgow’s finest riff dealers. 

Black Flag - "My War" (1984)

I'm sure there are people who will disagree with me but I reckon side B of this record is ground zero for sludge. Up until this point Black Flag were known for short, fast and chaotic hardcore punk. This however, sounds like they've drank a load of Benylin and recorded an all night jam. The band sound like they're sinking into a tarpit and Rollins definitely hates himself and everyone else. I love the guitar leads on this album. Atonal jazz noise that perfectly backs up the overall misanthropy.  Half the time it sounds like the vocals were recorded in the toilet bowl. Classic.

Eyehategod - "Dopesick" (1996)

The band's third album and arguably my favourite, this is like Black Flag crossed with Black Sabbath in a pharmaceutical warehouse. Negative energy never sounded so good. Absolutely pummeling drums, totally wretched vocals and then there's the feedback drenched riffs lurching from doom, hardcore and somehow a kind of heavily-sedated southern boogie! 

Om – “Conference of the Birds” (2006)

Sleep, as you would imagine, are an obvious influence on our sound but I love how the band split into two quite different bands and Om's approach, long meditations on bass and drums, really drew me in and made me want to explore the long song format. I'm into all their records but this is probably the one I reach for most often.

High On Fire – “The Art of Self Defense” (2000)

On the other side of the Sleep divide you have High On Fire and their first album is a stoner metal classic. I don't like my heavy metal to be shiny and new. I like it murky and covered in mould. This record definitely fits the bill. “Blood from Zion is probably my favourite HOF song. I'm into all their stuff and the way they've progressed with each album is an inspiration too. Not prepared to stand still.

Hawkwind – “Space Ritual” (1973)

The daddy of the space rock genre and possibly the best live album of all time. I can only imagine what it would have been like to see that tour. The record is pretty head-melting even without the visuals of the original show. Time seems to stretch and contract when you listen to this and that is what we aim for in Headless Kross. This is music that takes you to another place and time completely. 

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