Headspins - Spinister (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Spinister (2013)


Chicago's Headspins play light-hearted pop punk, fronted by alternating male and female vocals. There is the obvious debt to Ramones, but the Muffs and '90s pop punk a la The Queers are a big touchstone as well. The two ladies, Jean Teasdale and Julia Sugden, steal the show by carrying big melodies with pretty-n'-punk pipes.

Like I said, the ladies' tunes are the biggest hits here. Teasdale's "Don't Worry" is catchy as hell, a zippy little number that has the biggest hooks on the record. Opener "My Way Or the Highway" is a close second. To be even more like Ramones, they sing their own theme song, trading off vocals between all of them on "Headspins Go!" "Problematic Tendencies" peps up the end of the album with Sugden rockin' it on this crunchy, thumping punk track. They mix it up and go acoustic on the Gary Vacha number "Keep It Forever," getting a little bit twee like the Vaselines. I dig it.

The majority of the songs stay within the 3 minute limits of pop punk, but they stretch out on a couple longer ones. "Miner" gets a bit Tom Waits with drummer Gary Landess singing low n' dirty in this spooky lounge number. Closer "Anxiety" is an uptempo one that lasts a bit too long, but it reminds me, for some reason, of an unknown Nintendo soundtrack song, which is awesome. Don't ask. My brain is weird. "Broken Man" gets a bit awkward in its stings on the word "Broke" over and over, sounding a little sloppy. I also don't like the word "bitch" being thrown around all that much. Overall though, this is an enjoyable batch of songs.

The Headspins aren't winning huge points in the originality department, but the mixing up of feels/punk styles and vocalists gives this album more lasting-power. They do a lot of stuff well here, and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go next.