Wild from start to finish, Headroxx focuses on a retro influence, specifically that of early ‘80s and ‘90s video games and the classic 8-bit sounds that accompanied them.
At times Headroxx sounds like an arcade game’s startup music or settings menu. You’d half expect the album to come with a free download for a Regurgitator-themed title, but alas, it’s just some great tunes.
Second track Roxx for Brains reminds listeners that yes, this is Regurgitator and no, you haven’t been transported to a fluorescent-lit arcade joint. It spells out the album’s detachment from real life, the chorus chanting about having “Rocks for brains, living under trains, making ends meat how I can” and the struggle of living in a monotonous world.
Graffiti Is Coming Alive steps steps further away from reality into a distinct ’80s vibe reminiscent of the Stranger Things theme, if it had been sped up to double time. Regurgitator’s signature punk vibe stays strong throughout, the lyrics sounding like the potential plot for a ’50s horror flick.
Party Looks changes the scene from a ’80s arcade to a ’70s night club. The song itself is hilarious – in case you had forgotten, you shouldn’t be taking Regurgitator too seriously. At first it sounds like a story about a party hook up, but that quickly falls to the wayside with nonsensical lyrics like “have you ever squished jelly in your hand while you’re chatting with your best friend’s wife?”
Well, maybe it’s still a party hookup.
Next up is Not Alone, immediately catchy. Its lyrics are mildly morbid and foreboding, a leap away from the laugh that is Party Looks. Singer Quan Yeomans notes that “the Australian dream is unattainable, out of reach, like a drama on your TV”, and reminds us that thanks to the effects of social media, we’re never truly alone.
Weird Kind of Hard marks the halfway point for the album, opening with what can only be described as cheesy elevator music. Yeomans sounds perfectly out of place in the scheme of things, like a high pitched, quavering middle aged mum at pub karaoke on a Saturday night.
No Point kicks into a higher gear with the social cynicism Regurgitator are known for. Like Not Alone, it’s catchy, it’s serious and it reminds the listener that people are still struggling, still being pushed down and the men in charge are still acting like toddlers, wanting control over everything. It’s a fist pumper, but not a call to arms, rather a feeling that we’re united by the struggle of life in 2018.
Light Me On Fire brings up a notion voiced by Tyler Durden in Fight Club; that the things you own will end up owning you.The sound shifts into something more industrial; a ’90s rave without the glow sticks and whistles. Fast, hard and alarming, it would slot nicely into the soundtrack of The Matrix.
After being lectured on the benefits of being on fire, Don’t Stress comes along to remind everyone that “relaxation is such a treat”, and not to sweat or freak out amidst the absolute madness of life on a day-to-day basis.
The album ends with I Get The Internet, a track Devo could have put out as a follow-up single to Whip It. It’s synth heavy, jagged and crunchy. It’s short, sweet and to the point, a bold full stop to drop the curtains on a very, very wild ride.
Headroxx is a paradox, with continually conflicting ideas of how to look at life and how to behave in society. Should you freak out at the world, or should you just chill and not take everything so seriously? Should you donate your time to help out those who need it, or should you binge on ’90s sitcoms? An answer isn’t given, leaving the listener to choose wisely if they dare.
Overall, Headroxx is brilliant, weird and brimming with that Regurgitator feel their fans have come to know and love.
Headroxx is out now, and you can join Regurgitator on their Life Support tour beginning tonight in Newcastle – grab all the dates below.
Life Support Tour
Thursday 2 August – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – with Glitoris and Shrimp
Friday 3 August – The Metro Theatre, Sydney – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 4 August – Servo Food Truck, Wollongong (afternoon) SOLD OUT! – with The Nah and Enfant Terrible
Saturday 4 August – The Basement – Canberra – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 5 August – SS&A Club, Albury – with Glitoris
Thurday 9 August – Wool Exchange – Geelong – with Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine (feat. Tony Martin) and Dicklord
Friday 10 August -170 Russell, Melbourne – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 11 August – Republic Bar, Hobart – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 12 August – Republic Bar, Hobart (afternoon) – with Glitoris and Native Cats
Friday 17 August – The Gov, Adelaide – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 18 August – Badlands, Perth – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 19 August – Badlands, Perth – with Glitoris and Nerve Quakes
Friday 24 August – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Saturday 25 August – The Tivoli, Brisbane – with Glitoris and The Stress Of Leisure
Sunday 26 August – Solbar, Sunshine Coast – with The Stress Of Leisure