Duncan Reid and The Big Heads
Don’t Blame Yourself
There’s something impressively enamoring about Duncan Reid and The Big Heads. They boast a definitive, yet familiar vein. Their new record Don’t Blame Yourself blends power pop with punk sensibilities by twisting it into a definitive pub rock sound. That being said, this isn’t adolescent rock n’ roll. It’s music that is well refined and remains consistently engaging throughout. Fans of Reid’s previous ventures will find a home with this record. Especially if they like The Boys or even Eddie and The Hot Rods.
When picking this album up, it’s important to approach it with an open mind. It’s not suffering from the plague of mediocrity. Duncan Reid And The Big Heads are not just another Ramones-influenced rock group. They have years of experience that explore a remarkable depth of style.
The theme of Don’t Blame Yourself seems to be one of coming into a sense of maturity if not a sense of impending mortality. This is demonstrated by many of this records tracks emphasizing a certain reflection toward life lived and lost. Some tracks like “Oh What A Lovely Day” celebrate power pop melody’s coupled with calming, yet ruminative lyrical properties. Other songs like this are “Came The Day,” and “Dave.”
Many of their tracks have an upbeat nature to them and are arguably infectious to the ears. This is mostly true with tracks like “Your Future Ex Wife,” “To Live Or Live Not” and of course the ever so charmingly titled “Motherfucker.”
Singing along to this record isn’t required, but it’ll be hard not to do after some pint-sized liquid courage. This is particularly true with “Motherfucker” and “To Live Or Live Not.” The former has the fun and catchy chorus derived from the title of the track. Besides, who doesn’t want to sing “motherfucker” at the top of their lungs?
The latter, “To Live Or Live Not” is a track starts out strong and grips you. This is arguably thanks to Reid’s catchy word smithing ,and the tracks prominent chugging riffs. Not to mention it’s power pop driven with certain harmonies that stick with you like glue. It’s only three minutes long, but the smoothness of it’s delivery makes “To Live Or Live Not” feel short and sweet.
The title song “Don’t Blame Yourself” is easily my favorite track on this record. It’s a true and blue punk rock n’ roll tune. This is thanks to the bluesy rock driven riffs that give “Don’t Blame Yourself” a definitive edge. It’s very reminiscent of something TV Smith later work encompasses. Another track like this is “Little Miss Understood.”
In Don’t Blame Yourself, listeners will find a range to work with. One moment it’s a tune to groove to, the other a song that invokes strong memories and emotions. This release seems oddly appropriate for this year. This is because 2020 is a year representing a challenge and shock to the normalcies of day-to-day life.
While surely recorded pre-covid 19, Don’t Blame Yourself is almost perfect for the slowness of today’s reality. After all, an album exploring a mid-life crisis is apt for anyone coping with the turbulence of 2020. Nevertheless, be sure to check out Don’t Blame Yourself. It’s good and ought to be listened to.
For more about Duncan Reid and The Big Heads, check out their website!