Somewhere between the egoism of overt technical prowess and the raw and ragged catharsis of a basement punk show, there's a seldom-achieved balance that is formed only by that elusive thing called chemistry. Few bands out there exhibit this better than Detroit's HeadsWillRoll. HWR has spent the last four years dazing audiences and wiping out any contestants for the most raging underground band in their hometown. They have the unique ability to fuse punk, hardcore, jazz fusion, metal, cock rock, and pop into an aggressive, yet compelling package. HWR is progressive in the truest sense of the word, moving beyond the well of influence that the new-millennium psuedo-punk generation was disingenuously built on and offering us a whole new modern chaos.
Singer/Guitarist Jeff Zlatich spent his youth fronting Capture the Flag, one of the Detroit area's only worthwhile punk outfits of the late 90s and one of the first to fuse metal-riffs with the classic bay area punk sound. With the band having signed to Go Kart Records and receiving rave reviews in Alternative Press and the like, their genre on the verge becoming one of the largest youth markets in the industry, Zlatich unceremoniously drifted from the band in order to pursue the newly developing HeadsWillRoll vision. Joined by drummer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Graw and bassist/wise guy Derek Swanson, road-tested veterans of the 90's hardcore circuit and two of the most proficient musicians in the scene, HWR has been a machine from the start and quickly became a Detroit staple.
While their debut EP "Information as Terminal Disease," with its twisting rhythms and snarling production, established them as a top shelf band in Detroit, it was their album "Extrapolate the Meaning" that raised the creative and conceptual bar. A feat for any band, let alone one with a shoestring indie budget, "Extrapolate" is a daunting achievement. Sighting reference points is difficult, but the neurotic, maniacal fun of Mike Patton's post-Faith No More output comes to mind during the songs "Existence" and "Extrapolation," during which Zlatich unleashes guitar noise that hybrids Eddie Van Halen scale-runs with avant-garde noise. Slowburning songs like "Extrapolation" and "Cogito" bring to mind a more lively version of Tool's existential sludge, while on the opener "Questions" they achieve something like Hum's wall-of-sound with a single effects-laden guitar track. Considered a concept record, "Extrapolate" was critically acclaimed and landed the band an opening slot for Relapse Records' all-stars The Dillinger Escape Plan.
A series of vinyl-only EPs were released in the wake of the album's success and a CD/DVD reissue of their debut EP including a live performance opening for their friends The Suicide Machines is in the works. HeadsWillRoll remain one of Detroit's most revered unsigned acts and, having the good fortune of a seemingly limitless potential, they'll undoubtedly fuck up any expectations next time around.
Has Played With: High On Fire, Dillinger Escape Plan, Zombie, Cutthroats 9, The Suicide Machines, Cky, The Kinison, Darkest Hour, Hopesfall, Planes Mistaken For Stars, From Autumn To Ashes, The Break, Bear Vs. Shark, Murder By Death, Battles, The Holy Fire, Atreyu, The Hold Steady, Death From Above 1979, Every Time I Die, Wolf Eyes, Uncut, Norma Jean, Reel Big Fish, The Vans Warped Tour, Explosions In The Sky, Buried Inside, Coliseum, Hey Mercedes, Kylesa, Christiansen, Stretch Armstrong, 400 Blows, Uncut, The Thermals and The Ramones.