The third release by Thessaloniki’s grind four piece Head Cleaner is surely the one that will make them known to all those that either by mistake or lack of right information, eluded them so far. It is one of those cases that the momentum helps a lot and having been rather active the last three years, since their reformation after a break of six years in discography, it is clear that hunger for creativity raised many levels and the band is totally out of control at the current moment. Their first album ”Intellectual Oxygenation” (2004) was the one that put them strong in the map of the extreme scene, but the second release ”The Protest” (2010) was the one that gave them the boost to evolve and take themselves and their music even more seriously. A result of this serious approach is the new seven tracks of the band for the year of 2012.
”Resistance, Determination And The Sheer Will To Overcome” is a large title for a large release. Less than 24 minutes in duration but more in what they have offered so far. First of all, let’s focus on the sound. A great production with a suitable sound, having brought the gigantic riffs as the main weapon of destruction of ears, and having a nominal rhythm section as an ally, they all keep a stable approach throughout the seven great tracks. The vocals have been worked very much and it’s something you can understand even if you have never put your thoughts down and wondered how production is made in such cases. Moans, grunts, spit(e)ful screams and some mellow parts where needed and your head surely doesn’t feel that clean any more, trying to recover from this relentless attack from all possible sides.
Entering the first track ”The Maverick”, you soon realise that these guys are capable. Not only making you bang your head but also empowering their music with more stuff than screams, blastbeats and breakdowns. What Head Cleaner’s main success is, lies at the atmosphere they create. Yes, they worship bands like Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Rotten Sound, Nasum and others, but their compositions also include something which turns out to become a short length film with various pictures of everyday issues circling you as their music continues on the background. That’s right, grind for thought, doesn’t it sound strange? Well, you can either take it or leave it at first, but I can warn you that from a point and on, the benefit of choice won’t be at your side, you’ll be totally blown away and will follow them like blind dogs begging for food.
A dynamic duo consisting of ”Tanks Versus Ideas” (the hidden diamond of this release) and ”The Chain” (just take a look to the amazing video shot for it and you’ll get a full image of what Head Cleaner’s approach to music is like) take you from the neck and toss you away to the nearest wall. No chance for return and as everything turns around you in rapid speed, comes the other great duo of ”Crime And Punishment” (which could easily be called ”108 Seconds Carnage”) and ”Forward To Exit” to put you back into reality. The sound haunts you, the vocals continuously whisper in your mind and you just can’t help being addicted to it. Its small duration may be the only disadvantage for me, but is surely an advantage for someone listening to them for the first time, as it is easier to comprehend them and get tied to them. Win/win situation for sure.
While they seem to continue raging with ”Nobody’s Like Me” (that’s definite), then comes one of the greatest tracks ever to be included on a Greek release, ”Departures – Arrivals”. Reaching nine minutes in duration and covering more than one third of the EP, this track shows what open mind means, what it feels to explore the weirdest possible influences you may have as a musician and how you can combine a crawling track with mainly clean vocals inside a storm of brutality, without losing consistency. I really want to see them experimenting this way in the future, though an EP is a more succesful way to do this, it has been proved many times. Head Cleaner’s follow up to ”Resistance, Determination And The Sheer Will To Overcome” will definitely be one of the most important albums the Greek scene has to offer. It is inevitable and they know they can do it. It’s times like this when responsibility against yourself and your fans can only make you better and go forward in all ways. Nobody’s like them and they are like nobody!
01. The Maverick
02. Tanks Versus Ideas
03. The Chain
04. Crime And Punishment
05. Forward To Exit
06. Nobody’s Like Me
07. Departures – Arrivals
|Jim ‘Mitch’ Evgenidis – Vocals
Costas Chatzizamanis – Guitars
Lefteris Kasmiris – Bass
Bill Stavrianidis – Drums