Not Tonight and the Headaches - Love ... And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Not Tonight and the Headaches

Love ... And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (2014)

Boss Tuneage / Anarchy Enterta

Back when I was in my mid to late-twenties I was pretty much obsessed with pop-punk. It probably accounted for 80 percent of what I listened to back then and some of the bands that tickled my fancy back then included the Hard-Ons, Chemical People, Green Day and Unwritten Law. Pop-punk has since gone through a number of changes over the years, many of which have left us with nothing more than limp approximations of what attracted me to the genre back then.

Therefore, it's highly refreshing to hear something coming out that reminds me of that period around 25 years ago and which manages to do so without sounding sound dated either. Not Tonight and the Headaches (yes, I know, not the best moniker for a band) come from Grimsby. I've never been to Grimsby so can't say whether it lives up to the first syllable of its name, but if so then Love … And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction is an out and out rebellion to any such situation. This album fizzes along with an effervescent quality that is immediately infectious. It might not reach the same levels as the aforementioned bands but to be perfectly honest, I don't care as it just takes me back to a time when I consumed pop-punk like I now consume a variety of (prescription) medication. As such this is an album that makes me happy and that is a pretty good outcome from any band/record these days. To give a better idea of what they sound like try to imagine an amalgam of the punchiness of the Hard-Ons and the strong melodic quality of Big Drill Car, which is probably a good enough starting point.

To add to the whole sense of taking a trip back in time, Not Tonight and the Headaches treat us to a rip-snorting cover of Jane Wiedlin's 1988 hit "Rush Hour" and they do so which all the verve and vigour you'd expect them to give the song. It should also be noted that the band's own songs aren't too shabby either and are simple, straightforward and eminently hummable.

It shouldn't be a surprise that Boss Tuneage is involved in the unearthing of this gem as the label has a handle on all things melodic and good, and for that I am truly thankful (it must be pointed out that this is a joint effort though with newcomer label Anarchy Entertainment also deserving of some credit) otherwise I might never have been given the chance to enjoy this album. I hope that this is not a lone wolf traipsing through a wilderness on a solitary journey but more the tip of an iceberg that is waiting to be discovered, unleashing more like-minded bands upon a scene that in places is in much need of a severe cleansing followed by a reboot.

I might sound a bit harsh but I hear too much pop-punk that does nothing more than irritate me these days so to find a band like Not Tonight And The Headaches which seems to have their finger on the pulse in terms of what I like is quite encouraging. It also begs the question as to where this band has been hiding, although I guess the answer is Grimsby.

End Note: Hats off to whoever decided to have a small child sing a couple of lines of the chorus of "Under My Skin" at the end of the song. It was super cute!