It's pretty obvious from the opening moments of Headshear's debut self-titled CD that this Bay Area band have spent some time studying the music of early 80's King Crimson. The four piece (Gwynn Adams-guitar, Deirdre Lynds-guitar, Van Spragins-bass, and Matthew Guggemos-drums) have really channeled Discipline era Crimson here, but instead in an instrumental capacity, and the results are some complex and dense progressive rock music.
The guitar work of Lynds and Adams is stellar throughout this CD, as the duo weave plenty of intricate rhythmic and harmony lines around each other, while the equally complex & bubbly bass work of Spragins gives the music that certain Tony Levin-ish touch. Also, listen to the solid drum work of Guggemos (since replaced byHudson Bunce), who gives a track like "Mechanically Separated Chicken" a clever fusion foundation. Elsewhere, especially on songs like "The Walking Tapestry" and "Chunky Navy Parts I & II", images of Fripp and Belew pop up, as the guitar interplay is just marvelous. Occasionally heavy ("Phivunk") and sometimes downright funky ("Urban Conversation"), the music on Headshear is always thought provoking and certainly progressive. As soaring as the music gets here, it's not all about solos, but about the ensemble interplay, as the band shines as a whole rather than four individual performers. A prime example of this is the closing track "The Bitter Cold", an atmospheric song featuring some gorgeous guitar chords and Spragins' yearning, Jaco Pastorius-influenced bass lines. The band's ability to cleanse the pallatte and deliver some majestic sounds is quite impressive, and a great way to end this eventful release.
Headshear are sure to gain some new fans outside of their home in the San Francisco area with this debut. Add another promising prog debut to 2006's already stellar collection of hot releases!
1) The Walking Tapestry
2) Chunky Navy Part I
4) Complex Nothing
5) Mechanically Separated Chicken
6) Urban Conversation
8) Chinky Navy Part II
9) The Bitter Cold