Review: Headless – Square One

Review: Headless – Square One

M-Theory Audio (August 27th 2021)

Reviewer: David Pearce

Headless are a European Rock Band founded in Italy 25 years ago by Walter Cianciusi. They have been popular on the touring circuit, opening for acts like Queensryche and Skid Row. ‘Square One‘, though, is only their fourth full length album. The current line up has Goran Edman on vocals, Walter Cianciusi and Dario Parente on guitars, Martin Helmantel on bass and Enrico Cianciusi on drums.

The opening track ‘A Leaf’s Flight Path‘ starts off with tolling bells which are succeeded by an almost jazz style guitar which sets the tone for the track. Goran Edman’s vocals are rich, smooth and powerful, suiting the tempo and style of this atypical opening two minutes. Then the song explodes into a driving rock track that demonstrates the range of Edman’s vocals and the dual guitars of Walter Cianciusi and Dario Parente before moving back to it’s jazzy start. It is a genuinely different and beautifully constructed song.

Woman in White‘ starts with Enrico Cianciusi attacking the drums and not letting up. Once again Edman shows his rock pedigree as Headless channel Judas Priest’s all out attack on the senses. ‘Step Back from Me‘ is another hard rocker, this time with a blues edge and great work from all the guitar players with bassist Martin Helmantel giving a great demonstration of his ability to anchor the song.

Misdirection‘ is another different style of rock song that heads into Iron Maiden territory but underpins the song with a chorus that is more Europe in style. ‘Backseat Rhythm‘ starts with a ZZ Top style intro and makes the most of a bluesy approach that really suits Edman’s increasingly impressive vocals.

Tail Down Low‘ starts with a western style guitar and bass that moves into a beautifully constructed rock ballad that will sound really good live. Langeweile appears to head straight for the heavier end of the rock canon before dialling it straight back into 80s style metal that really hits home. ‘Twos Up‘ is a powerful song that will sound brilliant live with crunching guitars, pounding drums and a bass that seems to go right through you. Edman makes the most of the opportunity to show off his full vocal range and its an incredibly impressive performance. All of this makes this my favourite song on the album.

Penultimate track ‘Streetlight Buzz‘ is a heads down no nonsense rocker that shows Headless can work wonders with even the most apparently traditional rock song. Once again, it’s Edman’s vocals that make the difference. Final track, ‘Risin Up‘, reminds me of Rainbow, musically, but once again it is given a real edge by the perfect combination of instruments and vocals. It is a powerful end to what is pretty much a faultless album.

Headless show all of their experience, and understanding of pretty much every rock genre, on this album and have produced a set of songs that make this a classic rock album that will reward you with new discoveries every time you play it.