Indie rock, of all stripes, is far too long in the tooth —and the classic back catalogs far too crowded— for half measures: If we are to have new “left of the dial” songs in an age where the wry cleverness and heart-on-sleeve (or heart-patch-on-messenger-bag?) vulnerability of yore have listed into a kind of sardonic nihilism, then those songs must be full of that strange alchemic mix of chords and melodies that make hearts flutter and souls soar—they must be incandescent; bright flares that light us up and burn away the pretenses and bullshit the world circa 2022 seems determined to encase us in.
Enter Her Head’s On Fire — a fiery, enlivening quartet with an unfuckwithable pedigree (Saves the Day, Garrison, Small Brown Bike, The Bomb, Gay for Johnny Depp) that serves as the DNA for a 10-track genetic splicing debut full-length, College Rock & Clove Cigarettes, that is not only simultaneously familiar and transcendent, but also very, very good.
If you ever thrilled to the anthems of Samiam, pounded the steering wheel to Superchunk, reveled in the waves of Dinosaur Jr’s melodic fuzz, gladly went over to the Farside, got down to some Elvis Costello, or can remember where you were the first time you heard Sense Field…well, then Her Head’s On Fire’s heart-seeking post-post-hardcore, “emo”tive rock stemwinders will be the best thing to happen to you in a very long time.
Building on the promise of an auspicious bow via last year’s well-received split with living legend J. Robbins, College Rock & Clove Cigarettes is a beguiling and powerful statement: Her Head’s On Fire has your number and a container of clean sonic kerosine. All you have to do is follow the light, open up to the real, and find your way back to the messy, anthem-inspiring glory of love once again.
COLLEGE ROCK & CLOVE CIGARETTES TRACK LISTING:
“Call Me Up”
“Lexicon of Doubt”
“Are We Enough”
HER HEAD’S ON FIRE ARE:
Sid Jagger (Garrison, Gay for Johnny Depp) — Vocals
Jeff Dean (The Bomb) — Guitar
Rodrigo Palma (Saves the Day) — Bass
Jeff Gensterblum (Small Brown Bike) — Drums