I’m unsure how to start this review, apart from by saying that Head of Light Entertainments’ Drool is unlike any collection of songs I’ve ever heard… And mostly that’s a very good thing.
Though pretty inconsistent in sound, what connects the album is its apparent desire to soundtrack a child’s nightmare at a funfair. In fact, the title of opening track ‘Absurd’ pretty much manages to summarise the record in one word.
Themes aside, Absurd is a cracking start to any record, somehow blending together American 80s cool (Talking Heads, Devo) with Roxy Music. That the common denominator of these bands is Brian Eno is enough to provide an insight into the tunes African rhythm and scratchy guitars.
Continuing the carnival theme ‘Francis’, ‘Bluebottle’ and ‘Now the children rule the world’ are all upbeat in sound whilst sustaining the sinister undertones. ‘Children’ is the albums standout track with a heavier than average guitar sound and fanfare sound reminiscent of the Specials’ Ghost Town.
As the album progresses, initial beliefs about the album’s Alice-Cooper-Horror edge clear to reveal we are in the Bolan/T-Rex territory of talking to children on their level, rather than patronising them (Lyrics on ‘Now more than ever’ are “If you’re going to make your mark, best make it when you’re young”).
This fits well with brilliant ‘Woody I wouldn’t’ which builds into a strong African/ calypso groove and plays out with ‘la la’s’ equal to Simple Minds at their best. Interesting and unique.