Album Review: Duncan Reid And The Big Heads – Don’t Blame Yourself

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Duncan Reid And The Big Heads

Don't Blame Yourself - Little Big Head Records / Cherry Red Records

Duncan Reid and The Big Heads return this Friday (May 15th) with their 4th studio album ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’, distributed via Cherry Red Records. The ex-The Boys bassist/singer and his young(er) troupe – Sophie Powers (Guitar/Keys/BVs), Karen Jones (Drums/BVs) and Nick Hughes (Guitar/BVs/Trumpet) – bring the heavy melody across 14 tracks encompassing an array of themes, ranging from summer holidays to mortality.


The album explodes into (mid) life (crisis) with the chunky chords and spidery guitar lines of ‘Your Future Ex Wife’. It sets the tone perfectly for the next couple of numbers – catchy, driving tunes underpinned by tight songwriting, both instrumentally and lyrically. They sound like a band clearly enjoying themselves: ‘Motherfucker’ is a gleeful political critique, and the breezy chug of ‘Welcome To My World’ belies the ‘I’m losing my mind’ subject matter. It’s all good, vivacious fun that echoes through later rollicking tracks ‘To Live Or Live Not’ and ‘Little Miss Understood’.


There are some more muted, introspective moments too, such as the slow-burning ‘Tea & Sympathy’ with its prominent keys, and the lovelorn ‘Came The Day’: “Like a fool I smiled and rushed right in.” ; they’re not afraid to glam it up and march and stomp through 70s-channelling ‘For All We Know’ and ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’; there’s also the wistfully bouncy ‘The Grim Reaper’ and the twinkling, summery ‘Oh What A Lovely Day’ – whatever direction the track follows, the band do it all with craft and knack; a big smile and a knowing nod: “I’m a big head; life’s a show”.  

Like shimmering pop-punk dripping in harmonies? With a delay for the physical release, ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ will be accessible digitally on May 15th via Bandcamp.  The album can be pre-ordered on CD through Cherry Red Records, or in vinyl form on Duncan’s official website. He also has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.