The Headlines - Wake Up [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Headlines

Wake Up [7-inch] (2011)

Goodwill Records

Much props to Swedish group the Headlines for bringing the swinging sax back into rock. While early punk icons such as the Clash and X-Ray Spex would break out the rock and roll woodwind, after the advent of ska, the curved instrument seemed related to picking it up.

On "Wake Up," the Headlines break out the sax, but are able to keep their music more punk than pop or ska. The release features four well crafted, tight, harmonious songs that address common punk topics such as crafting art for art's sake, feeling disaffected and hating ones town. The vocals are highly polished, giving the whole release a very glossy sound.

Still, this cleanness sort of holds the music back. The tempos seem locked in a mid tempo groove. Just when the sax shows up to whip up a frenzy, like it did in so many '50s rock classics, the tempo impedes the instrument from shaking things up, leaving it as a nice adornment on top of the pop-punk, Epitaph sound.

The band has a talent, but perhaps a little bit more rawness would inject some energy into the group and really let the sax get things swinging.