There aren’t many releases that trigger a neurotic, sensory creep of itches and bodily invasion fears. If the very band name and titles like ‘Bacteria’ and ‘Nit Comb’ weren’t enough to set off a frantic flurry of frenzied scratching, then Russell Taysom‘s comix front cover depicting the crawling turmoil of a nest of lice gnawing through a punk rockers skull is sure to get you furiously scraping your scalp till there’s blood and skin under your fingernails.
A thoroughly mutant and septic variant of synthpunk has been making a nuisance of itself Down Under. Across Sydney and Melbourne, miscreants such as Research Reactor Corp, Gee Tee, and the litany of aliases from Billiam have been spewing a uniquely alien-fried mule of acrid garage rock. Long ensconced in Brisbane’s irritated flesh, the self-described criminal organisation known as Headlice have wormed their way to the front of the weirdo revolution and spat out their debut EP via Bargain Bin Records, a six track pestilence of expert, slime-soaked rock ‘n omeprazole.
The four Lice’s (being Ed, Red, Shred, and Fred) tear through Vol. 1 like an Amazonian candiru shredding your urethra. Half a dozen rancid eggpunk numbers spiked with venereal disease that manages to hook you with a guileful catchiness amid the scuzzy thrash. Each component of Headlice meshes with sinewy potency, Ed’s snotty vocals fluctuating between bratty sneer and feverish howl, Shred’s rubbery keyboards congealing with Red’s swaggering bass and all held together by Fred’s merciless drumming fury, there’s not a trace of fat or fucking about across the EP’s eight minutes.
Like all good infections, Headlice will hopefully only spread further and lay many more tapes and 7″s onto an unsuspecting populace, Vol. 2 being diagnosed by a doctor before being released by any label. A wholly welcome synthpunk contamination, Headlice are Top of the Pox!