Headless Heroes – The Silence Of Love
This reviewing game can be a funny old lark.
Here at E&D, being a two man and a dog operation, we don’t often get the chance to listen to things as often as we’d really like to, running to keep up so to speak. This is a shame, because sometimes an album’s first impression belies its true quality and Headless Heroes’ ‘The Silence Of Love’ is just such an album. I gave it a quick listen before going on holiday and my initial reaction was ‘Hmm, an album of nice if slightly bland covers, whatever.’.
Fortunately, upon my return I have had the chance to give it further attention and revise my first impression somewhat. There are still patches of blandness and a lack of adventure in some of the interpretations, but there are some real gems on this record too.
Headless Heroes is the brainchild of a fellow called Eddie Bezalel with assistance from David Holmes and Hugo Nicolson and a bunch of assorted musicians, first amongst whom is vocalist Alela Diane, an emerging folk singer from Nevada City.
It is Diane’s voice that makes this album and imbues it with the emotion that the arrangements sometimes lack. The covers are drawn from an eclectic range of sources. Daniel Johnston (‘True Love Will Find You In The End’), I Am Kloot (‘To You’) and The Jesus And Mary Chain (‘Just Like Honey’) all feature amongst others.
Some of the selections are wilfully obscure, Juicy Lucy’s ‘Just One Time’ for example is actually one of the best versions on the record imbued as it is with terrific tension and drama, and others designed to provoke, Nick Cave’s ‘Nobody’s Baby Now’ is unfortunately one of the weaker moments channelling more Dido than Australia’s dark lord.
The real stand out moments are the Mary Chain and Daniel Johnston songs, although I have to admit to being a big fan of both originals, and ‘The North Wind Blew South’ by Philamore Lincoln which boasts a tremendous vocal performance.
In all the record falls between wanting to be genuinely wide in scope and influence and wanting to be a kind of Mark Ronson for Zero 7 fans, but it generally has more in the plus column that the minus and I suspect given more time and listens will grow further.
Top Tracks: ‘Just Like Honey’, ‘The North Wind Blew South’.
Released 17/11/2008 on Names Records