REVIEW: HEADLESS KROSS – Volumes (2015) 


Doom. But not as we know it, Jim, and not for the feint hearted. 

There’s a comedian named Daniel Kitson. He won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival.  According to Russell Brand and Russell Howard he was the funniest man on the circuit (MVM can vouch for this to be fair, having seen him too) but he was a contrary so and so. He didn’t fancy fame, he didn’t fancy adulation and he didn’t fancy being on QI. So, wilfully it seemed, his act became ever more obscure. The pay off to all that was this joke: “I want to whittle down my audience to 12,” he used to say. “I don’t know, let’s call them disciples.”

Now, you see, as much as we want MVM to be the most read music website in the world, there are times when the worlds we work in just aren’t going to resonate with the general public. Hell, sometimes the worlds we work in aren’t going to resonate with other fans of the music we like. 

To whit: Headless Kross. 

Let’s get it said from the get go. This album contains three tracks. It clocks in at 40 minutes. Oh and by the way, there isn’t anything approaching a structure or a chorus here and not many clean vocals. 

Sorted. Most of you can leave, we will review something slightly more commercial in a minute.

Those of you that have remained – let’s in the spirit of the opener call you doomciples – clearly want to find about this monolithic record. So here’s what you need to know. It takes nearly eight minutes of opening track “Rural Juror” – one hesitates to call them songs for fear of offence – for anything to happen other than a pounding riff plays. This is mesmerising and hypnotic stuff in the extreme (meaning all senses of the word.) 

“Who Is This Who Is Coming” the second of this most unholy of trinities is “just” 11 minutes long, but manages if anything to be even more pounding. The opening hints at some kind of foreboding, but the guitar work from Tommy Duffin in the middle section is phenomenal. 

The whole thing is rounded off in style with “Even The Destroyed Things Have Been Destroyed” which is more of the same. It is slow, deliberate, and it’s an iron bar to the face, repeatedly. The bass and drums mesh together to form perhaps the best groove on an album full of them.

Appropriately perhaps singer and bass man Derek is a College Lecturer by day. His band have delivered a lesson in something that’s part psychedelic, part crust and part doom. It won’t appeal to everyone – for Christ’s sake it’s not supposed to appeal to everyone, but if you want to explore the outer extremities of doom, then Headless Kross are here for you. 

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