DOC & THE HEADSHRINKERS
Louder than War’s Ioan Humphreys gets a listen to the latest long player offering from the West Wales ‘raawkabilly’ outfit Doc and the Headshrinkers.
March 2018 saw the release of Crashland which is the latest album from West Wales rockabilly outfit Doc and the Headshrinkers. Featuring the single “If there wasn’t any sinners the saints wouldn’t look so good”, it was recorded at Studio Fflach, Cardigan and released on the band’s own Headshrinker Music. Made up of Doc Headshrinker (Guitar & Vox), Richie ‘megabass’ Evans (Double bass) and John ‘I’ve gotta get my haircut’ Lovell (Drums), this 14 track album shows this band having a whole lotta fun with a kick-ass attitude.
There is definitely a ‘raawkus’ start to this LP with opener with Mrs Tolley. A paint stripping guitar riff drives this paean to a ferocious sounding teacher that i’m guessing Doc secretly fancied and liked getting spanked by. A dirty slap-bass breakdown halfway through gives the track layers and a (sexual) tension carried through to the bitter end.
Follow up I’ve Got Something Good For You has a more traditional rockabilly feel to it, albeit with VERY suggestive lyrics. The pacing and the driving bass is infectious and even though it’s one of the shorter tracks on the LP, it’s full of fun and mischief. Yet something tells me the cheekiness will continue and it does with the psychobilly reverb drenched High School Reject with it’s instructional, domineering vocals and sexy guitar solo.
The lead single off the album comes next and has been reviewed previously here. Needless to say it’s a rollicking romp full of Doc’s provocative lyrics, vocal chord straining delivery, guitar solos and the solid back-beat of Richie Evans and John Lovell.
Whore Song is a full on blues explosion with a simplistic call and response structure, but with a BIG sound that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding. It’s sexy and hot-blooded. Paranoia is another slow burning bluesy number that reeks of sweat and provocative lyrics and the sultry delivery of Doc.
Dig A Bone has an absolutely ferocious guitar riff and impossibly fast bass and drums mixed with the titillating lyrics and delivery of Doc. Naughty? Absolutely! This band is filthy! ‘I’ll see you in hell’ is again a feral take on the rockabilly tradition with the refrain of ”I’ll see you in hell boy, I’ll see you in hell” mixed in with an untamed riff and 100mph backbeat that just will not relent. One of the standout tracks of this LP.
It Got In The Way is a right romp that has the band having fun. Whereas Love Lies Lost sees the band getting slow, low and dirty and sounding like they could be the house band in The Titty Twister. This lot need a cold shower!!! Penultimate track, Crashland, has another call and response make up and again the band really let loose. The rhythm section is stretched to its limits with the stop start nature of Doc’s vocal delivery, yet they more than cope with the insistent guitar riffs and constant medicinal advice dished out by the Doc.
Doc and the Headshrinkers may be the latest in a while host of rockabilly and psychobilly bands, yet this trio seem to have a certain flair and balls that sets them above the rest. Each member of the band brings an element to the sound that although is polished, has also the ability to make it raw and dirty. This combination is both dangerous and bloody infectious! I can’t get enough of Doc and the Headshrinkers at the moment. Have a go yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
They are currently touring the UK. Check their website for gig dates.
Words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.