FolkWords Reviews

‘Feather and Flame’ from Headsticks - fireball-frantic, heavy-engine, pedal-to-the-metal drive

(March 14, 2016)

In early September 2014 an album arrived at FolkWords with a photograph of a peacock’s head on the cover, the band was called Headsticks, the album titled ‘Muster’ – the contents were gutsy, hard-driving folk punk with a cutting headsticks feather and flameedge. Now come’s the second album ‘Feather and Flame’ from the same band, and the intervening years have done nothing to dull their edge or tone down their fireball-frantic, heavy-engine, pedal-to-the-metal drive. The power of attack remains unchanged as does the construction of infectious hooks, irreverent lyrics, savage social and political commentary and fearless delivery ... ‘Feather and Flame’ arrives with the cry of ‘take no prisoners’ and that’s exactly what happens.

The songs on ‘Feather and Flame’ not only make a point they make you think. This is honest music, it’s folk in the raw and filled with observations and commentary that many of our politicians, so-called ‘captains of industry’ and leading lights in social services would do well to sit up and take notice. From the harsh reality of the world outside of privelidge in ‘Cold, Grey, English Skies’ through streets of savagery within ‘Go, Move, Shift’ and the refusal to crumble in ‘Pay The Price’ to the angry rejection of ‘Every Single Day’ the attitude that is Headsticks pours out its truths, relishes in its refusal to lay down and takes it to the max.

Headsticks are Andrew Tranter (lead vocals, harmonica) Stephen Dunn (guitar, backing vocals) Nick Bayes (bass, backing vocals) and Tom Carter (drums). You can find Headsticks and ‘Feather and Flame’ here: www.headsticks.co.uk

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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