June 20, 2012

Review: Headspace-I Am Anonymous

In 2007 Britain’s Headspace released their debut EP I Am…making the world take note of them. But it’s been five long years since then, and only now do we have another offering from them. Here’s to hoping that in those five year’s they’ve cooked up something special.

Their website describes the new record as follows: “I Am Anonymous points the finger directly at the listener. This is about you and your relationship with humanity, ultimately the battles fought within the mind from child to man. Through Kubler Ross’ model of impending death with reference to war the turmoil leads us to peace and acceptance…only then to swing straight back around to chaos.”

The band is comprised of Adam Wakeman (Keys), Damian Wilson (Vocals), Pete Rinaldi (Guitar), Richard Brook (Drums), and Lee Pomeroy (Bass). Each of their bios tells of how sought after they are outside their band, leading one to believe (correctly) that they’re all quite talented people.

When you’ve got members like these, it’s more or less a requirement to put a little bit of everything in your music. If you’re looking for every single genre and style–or at least a hint of everything–you may not be looking in the right place here. But that’s a different definition of what “everything musical” is. This band does quiet as well as loud, and manage to merge those polarizing tendencies nicely. Wakeman’s (yes, he is Rick’s son) and Rinaldi’s playing steal the show, though Wilson’s vocals certainly make a case for themselves.

Coincidentally, there are some nice highlights worth mentioning. “Fall Of America” is good, but not outstanding, until about 9:45 when Wakeman and Rinaldi hit the nitrous oxide and blast through notes effortlessly. The guitar and keyboard solos in “Die With A Bullet” are equally as impressive, and I think in terms of sheer speed could almost give Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess a run for their money. “In Hell’s Name” features some sitar sounds (probably played through the keyboards) that make an otherwise normal song have some memorability. “Daddy Fucking Loves You” has a great jam session in the middle. I love how the guitar goes down an octave in it; it makes the riff it was already playing so much more brutal. It even has a spot after that that sounds ripped from Meshuggah; the same chord played over and over, but in a mathematical groove and time. “The Big Day” continues some of the same things and is great.

At first I was going to complain about how this album suffered from too much slowness (which to a point I still think it does), but then reread the band’s description and thought about it differently. Instead of a heavy, brutal album with parts of introspection, it’s an introspective album with heavy and brutal parts. “The Big Day” sounds more like what I expected, and in fact wanted to hear, but that’s not what the band wanted. So be it.

Before you approach this album, make sure you do it with the right mindset. Think of it as the band described it, a more subdued, personal reflection with heaviness to go along with it. If you do that you’ll be rewarded with a good album. Don’t make the same mistake I did and expect the opposite, otherwise you’ll be left wanting what it was never intended to deliver.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Die With A Bullet, Daddy Fucking Loves You, The Big Day

Daniel Erickson

June 19, 2012

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