Win a New Head – Rain

Win A New Head make music that goes nowhere, but demands you come along. Similar to Volcano the Bear but lacking their elusive warmth, Win A New Head are quiet but heady – each song being more of an abstract prototype than a coherent composition. The difficult to identify instruments idle forward in an almost random motion, although they never quite clash or collide. The musical equivalent of stop and start rush hour traffic on a lazy afternoon, you will find yourself succumbing to the non-rhythms against your will.

“Rain” is typical of the group’s delivery in that the music is off-kilter, utilizes sources that are difficult to identify but are vaguely influenced by traditional East Asian music, and is set against an unsettling backdrop of something like a scraping pump organ. You are immediately drawn into this world, and before you get a chance to decide whether you want the sounds to stop, you first have to see if they are going anywhere. What is exceptional about this song is the focus on lyrics in the poem. The extra emphasis on clear enunciation is also a pleasant surprise, compared to the incomprehensible whino-mumble that typifies their other songs. I’ll leave you to discover what makes the lyrics clever as well as eccentric on your own since there are so few lines all in all. The saving grace of this group is their brevity. Habituation to the initial impact of this brand of weird comes quick.

Win A New Head is unique but not really a music act. Noise is sort of a misnomer as well, because they are so reserved … and although they draw from a wide palette even including Kraut-rock, they are still closer to John Cage than Merzbow. “Rain” is one of their better tracks, a perfect soundtrack for a sci-fi samurai flick. Check em’ out if you are running low on daily fixes of music your old creepy uncle would love.