I’m not always one to celebrate album anniversaries, but I’m a sucker for expanded editions so with the 25th Anniversary of The Heads’ absolute crusher of a debut on the horizon this month, the label has put the LP back into print. Expanded to a double LP, with reworked cover art, …Relaxing With expands on its ferocious howl with a full set of BBC sessions from the band — spanning John Peel Sessions, Mark Radcliffe sessions, and a pair from the Radio 1 Rock Show. Included in the second set are the single versions along with b-sides, making this the definitive version of the band’s 1996 debut. Mid ‘90s UK was no safe haven for the howl of psychedelia, with Britpop in full swing and rave culture on the rise. The band helps to open up a nice amalgam of heavy psych and Stoner Rock, taking the Blue Cheer bedrock and sucking it out the airlock to mingle with Hawkwind in the heavens. They lay Loop, Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, and Düül on the alter and lift up a holy ghost of heaviness from the ashes.
In fact the album is produced by Hawkwind’s Dave Anderson, and he helps shape it into one of the most scalding heavy records of the era, standing with Sleep’s Holy Mountain as a monolith of fuzz-ripped rebellion. Though, while Sleep tapped their well into the Sabbath sound, there was something more rhythmic and pulsating in the work of The Heads. They grew out of the grooves of MC5 but shot their sounds through with an exhaust-thick layer of guitar grime that’s intoxicating. The band would lay down years of excellent albums, but its hard to deny that their debut might be their defining statement, a fully-formed record that sought out the dark, weird corners of the mind and festered there. The new edition is out on a limited splatter / silver colorway as well. Probably good grab one while they stick around.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.