While my interests lie primarily in different modes of death and black metal, I try to be an equal opportunity reviewer. As such, I welcome to occasional sound that may not quite fit in my wheelhouse. So is the case for Headcasey's latest set of tracks. And while I may not be the best person to dig into their style, I am still intrigued by the various avenues they explore between alternative rock and heavy metal.
"Broken on the Wheel" treads the line between the two with an opening riff worthy of 80's NWBHM, but other portions that conjure everything from Guns N' Roses to Live. In my opinion, the chorus vocals could use a little work, but the song is overall pretty enjoyable. "Lesson" opens with drums that reminded me of "Hot for Teacher" before settling into slower 90's rock with a few killer solos for good measure. "Take it Elsewhere" takes a similar route with an aesthetic that constantly had me thinking about Stone Temple Pilots.
But Headcasey dial things up considerably with Priest/Maiden/Dio worship on "Scream Machine." This was one of my two favorites. It hits that sweet spot of the classics with cheesy-yet-catchy lyrics and endlessly entertaining vocal delivery. The guitar and drums are certainty headbang worthy and remind me of a simpler time when the more extreme genres were nearly nonexistent. The other track I really enjoyed was "Yesterday's Wrong." We're circling back to alternative and even a little grunge here, but that guitar riff is incredibly infectious. I almost can't help but sing along.
So all in all, I was pleased enough with what Headcasey is putting out there to share. The solos are tastefully placed, the drum and guitar work is energetic, and the variety of genres they're willing to sample keeps things interesting. Personally, I would like to see them mature into a place where these flavors are better fused into a cohesive band sound rather than making such jarring jumps from one to another. In any case, these are the makings of a strong act. You can decide for yourself at bandcamp.