The Headlines – “Warpaint” (Metalville)
Apparently outcast for not having enough tattoos and wearing too much pink in their native Sweden (!), little has stopped The Headlines from playing over 300 shows all over Europe, including supporting The Levellers and finding themselves new territories in Asia, North America and Russia! Formed in 2005 and now expanded into a 5 piece, The Headlines have released 5 prior albums as well as EPs and singles, mixing the melodic punk rock influences of Bad Religion, Rancid and Green Day with an old school rebellious touch of The Clash in vocalist Kerry “it’s my own fucking revolution” Bomb’s riot grrrl attitude! And that’s where it’s at: while others are fixated on image (and possibly jealousy), The Headlines have put it all into their music, which while being as energetic as one might expect, also contains tons of deep hooks and catchy melodies along with heart felt croons to set “Warpaint” well apart from the punk pack. Indeed, the sound on this 12 track release is highly polished thanks to award-winning producer Chips Kiesbye, who’s worked with The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies and Millencolin, indicating the awesome potential that The Headlines have, and with Bomb taking over main vocal duties and dropping the bass into Sophie Ward’s hands, the future looks set for this Swedish band! It’s certainly hard to ignore the instant catchiness of the raw but melodically alluring guitars on ‘Sounds From The Underground’, wailing and crooning as Bomb tells the tale not with negativity, but with a strong can do ethic to pull yourself up in building to the uplifting singalong chorus, encouraged by the positivity of the harmony shout outs. Kicking in sharply on ‘Warpaint Authority’ to Jake Lundtofte’s punchy riffs, Bomb’s girlie singing belies the punk lyrics of ‘..if you fuck with her and fuck with me, fucking gonna fuck with you!!..’ and as the melodies grow along to the soulful croons of ‘..molotov cocktails in the air…we’re that generation we don’t care..’ the song builds to another hugely catchy chorus with its raucous chants of ‘Warpaint! Warpaint!!’ – brilliant! Hitting up the punk rock ballad on ‘The Storm’, the raw but heartbreaking guitars mix perfectly with the deep emotions of Bomb’s soulful voice, and while sad in its tone, thanks to the punk fire charging it, still comes fighting outta the gutter resonating plenty of hope and love. Whaling away for the massive singalong ending in ‘Underdog’, it’s all hands to the pump in a mix of punk and new wave riffs, wailing melodies, mixed male and femme lead vocals, background and harmony shout outs all centered around another positive and inspiring message about making it in this world. Whatever the views of their hometown scene, The Headlines seem to be happening everywhere else thanks to their amazing music!