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Githead is Colin Newman (from Wire), Robin Rimbaud (from Scanner), Malka Spigel and Max Franken (both from Minimal Compact). Heavy-hitters all. What surprising tuneage does this fusion of talent produce? Read on and learn the wonderful answer.

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GITHEAD: Art Pop (CD on Swim)

This release from 2007 offers 50 minutes of quirky but lovable pop tunes.

Guitars grind and snarl and squeal and whirl and turn inside out, then pose in eccentric positions while the background floods with psychedelic pulsations. Grating riffs mutate into endearing melodies. Sinuous chords become elastic, bending back on themselves in a bewitching manner. There even some quasi-acoustic pickings that exhibit a jittery charge that tantalizingly threatens to burn through the wall.

Basslines growl with concrete harshness. Besides establishing a firm bottom for the tunes, the bass often bullies its way to the forefront where it adopts the dominant position for some tastily gritty lead riffs.

The drums are puissant and resolute, generating steadfast rhythms that bluster with authority and appealing luster.

The electronics affect everything, but remain lurking in the shadows, covert like a spy or a camera-shy maven. When the electronics finally stumble into clear view, they are quirky and function more like effects than slippery harmonic embellishments.

Newmanís vocals are a coalescent blend of bratty force and dreamy delight, achieving a distinct charm with their ability to reach behind bleary eyes and jump-start cerebral activity. For two tracks, Spigelís sweetly sultry voice injects a heavenly croon that serves to ground the eclectic nature. A few songs feature vocals that are processed so much that they become mechanical voices. The sly lyrics that dance on the precipice of the obvious, turning routine situations upside-down with oblique observations.

These compositions excel at providing maximum serious entertainment while cleverly remaining whimsical. Cultural intellectualism is seasoned with a wry cynicism that surprisingly ends up impressing an optimistic aftertaste on the audience.

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