Tue 24 Apr 2012
I first met Headaches’ Jeff Bell at DOC, a tiny bar in Auckland. He bounded up to me and asked if I could play bass. I told him I could. I soon realised he was going around asking pretty much every person in the bar the same question, but his excitement and energy for finding the final member of his band was fun to witness. Little did I know his band was perfectly formed already, and (to my mind) didn’t need a bass player at all.
Headaches are one of those two-pieces that don’t need any “fleshing out”. Like the White Stripes, the Black Keys (of old) and so many others, their restrictions are what makes them so great. By relying solely on catchy songwriting, solid drums and a couple of good pedals, Headaches make the kind of shimmering, glitzy pscyhedelic rock and roll that’s perfect in its simplicity. Singer/guitarist Jeff (from Las Vegas) and drummer Kerry Forde’s (Freudoids, Malenky Robot) time-warped garage punk sits perfectly alongside bands like Thee Oh Sees, who they supported in Auckland. Of their many great demos on Bandcamp recorded by Alex Bennett, ‘Bear Bait’ is a standout, with its jagged and jarring guitar chords, spacey echoes and Kerry’s primal drumming providing a lurching rhythm. Jeff is known to do a great cackling laugh-type-thing with his voice that adds a kind of scary, foreboding vibe.
Having played Two-Piece Fest in Wellington in February alongside DZ Deathrays, The Shocking And Stunning and Seth Frightening, Headaches are now preparing for the release of a vinyl compilation with Raw Nerves, High Society, Death Valley and Proton Beast. They’re also playing a special gig at Whammy/Wine Cellar next month. In the meantime, download some of their awesome free jams on Bandcamp and read this interview with them.