What goes on inside the human brain? Whatever it is, it’s probably messy, dense, unnerving, and in most cases very, very fuzzy. On their sophomore album Headspace, Montreal power trio Double Date With Death took this concept and worked it through to some satisfying results.
The opening track “Sonic” plays like a punk-rock overture. It comes down like a ton of bricks and ends just as quickly. A guitar feedback loop gives way to a plodding four-on-the-floor instrumental which makes liberal use of guitar bends and discordant progressions.
After this point, Headspace plays better as one solid piece rather than separate songs. Sometimes it goes fast, sometimes it slows down, but each new track bears a heavy resemblance to the ones that came before it. It’s all blues based, it’s all in common time, and it’s all delivered in the same monotone manner. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s the raw emotion that matters on a record like this more than the musical diversity. The guitar screeches, the bass chugs, and the drums are as tight as they are deceptively simple.
It’s clear that thematically, these boys were inspired by the past, specifically the cheesiest elements of the 70s, 80s and 90s. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this album would fit right in as the score of a movie like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Everything from the Twilight Zone-styled cover art to the old movie clips selected for the music video for the track “EYES” screams of a time when these guys may ironically not even have been born yet.
It’s an interesting listen to be sure. It’s not a very long one either, with the combined nine songs clocking in at just under 25 minutes, so it shouldn’t intimidate newcomers. Perfect for fans of music that’s not too complicated, but just off-kilter enough to make you wonder…what did I just listen to?
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Kate Erickson