With its grey skies and general gloomy demeanour – matched only by Scotland, Blackpool, and Manchester – Seattle is the perfect breeding ground for Punk Rock. The speedy, underground kind of Punk, not the hi-sheen, manufactured sound that tries to pass itself off as “punk” today: 1975 with their “punk” single – oh do fuck off. Enter stage left; Head Honcho and their latest album ‘Appetite For Distraction’. 14 short, sharp, minutes which roll back the decades to a time when punk was a way of life, and a reaction to the fat, overblown mess that most Rock music had become.
There is no chance of getting bored while listening to ‘Appetite To Distraction’, as the five-piece do not hang around. Opening track ‘But, So It Is’ doesn’t even pass the two minute track; no fat here. Fast-paced with fantastic vocals; throbbing, speeding bass, and guitars and drums played at a furious pace. There is also a metallized edge to Head Honcho; speedy, neck-straining riffs on ‘We Done Stuck Gold Pa!’ for instance, a slight old-school NWOBHM-meets-thrash influence. Again, the bass lines really stick out, and rattle the listeners teeth loose.
‘Sweathögg’ is a hardcore fist to the back of the head, the shortest of the seven tracks; it is totally killer. The NWOBHM influence (conscious or not) shines through on the guitar intro to ‘Throne Of Lies’, and at times throughout you might pick up a Maiden (Paul Di’Anno years) vibe. ‘Dudes Of Tunisia’ see’s Head Honcho going all mystical Zeppelin-like…nah, it’s more full-on hardcore punk, with some neat guitar breaks thrown in, and great gang-vocals. ‘Mantooth’ is the best song that Ginger Wildheart never wrote, and ‘We Approached High’ brings this fine album to a conclusion with a totally gonzo mash-up of so many different textures.
‘Appetite For Distraction’ is great fun. No getting away from that. It’s the perfect enema up the ass of modern American Rock music today.