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Dead To the World
Artist: Headnoise 
Label: Grrr 
14 tracks/ at 59:06 

If you like loud punk music that goes all out for God, Dead To the World could be the release for you. I am not referring to the kind of music made by bands like MxPx, Hangnail, Relient K, or any of the others on that list that could go on and on. I'm talking about old school, fast and furious punk music. For the kids out there who like that, there is Headnoise. 

The band describes their music as being more complex than three-chord punk. That's correct because this is six-chord punk. However, that's not necessarily more complex punk music, but possibly just a bit more chaotic punk music. With that little aside, let's just say that Headnoise is old school, six-chord punk music. While there have been some Christian bands that have used the same style of music that Headnoise does, such as Officer Negative and One:21, there is something that sets Headnoise apart: namely, a female singer. For many that will seem really cool, but for me it's kind of a turn off. Granted, many times you may not really think about the singer being female because of the way she can get into the music. But there are certain moments where it just doesn't seem to go over very well. 

Lyrically, Headnoise is a far cry from the normal punk band. In their press release they outright denounce the things that punk stands for and denotes. They are against nihilism and rebellion. The band's music is all about encouraging the youth in their walk with God. The lyrics are extremely up front in that task. Although they're not the most thought-provoking songs, a band could certainly do worse. 

My favorite track is "Peace;" which is actually all spoken with no singing. The background music gives the words meaning, however, creating a very positive track. An interesting note is that one track, "War," includes a brief clip at the end, of the Keith Green song "Make My Life a Prayer." 

Headnoise has made a decent release that will appeal to a certain audience. By this point in the review, that crowd should know who they are. My message to that fan is to buy the CD; to our other readers, this isn't what you're looking for. 

Trae Cadenhead  9/8/2001

“Punk” is a word that seems to be thrown around today in describing groups such as Green Day, The Offspring, Blink 182, and others.  It seems to imply a band that plays three chords, employs the same bass and drum loops on every song, has a vocally challenged singer, and the idea that loud is better than good.

To those of us over the age of twenty-five, though, punk goes back a little further - to spiked hair, black leather, anger and rage being expressed over buzzsaw guitars and throbbing bass lines.  Think Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Buzzcocks, Television, Sex Pistols.  Think about your youth - where your rebellion was proclaimed nightly by two minute songs, separated one from another only
by a “1,2,3,4”.

Headnoise delivers the 70’s punk ethic on _No Compromise_ - they are loud, fast, and focused on lyrics - they are angry at the hypocrisy in our society, disappointed in those who take the easy way out, and deeply concerned about churches who would exclude those who look a little different then us.

Lead singer Edie Goodwin is all over the map vocally - from whisper to scream.  She ranges from old school Blondie or GoGos to Pat Benetar to Wendy O. Williams (Plasmatics), while at other times delivering a sermon over music (“Peace?”).  Husband Robert is on bass, while Jason Seiler’s guitars drive the entire album.  Casey Logan pounds out the drums fills.

“Anti-Bodies” is an Audio Adrenaline meets Lust Control sounding song, while “Sky Falling” recalls Blondie in their earliest days.  “MPG” forcefully reminds us that a man cannot serve two masters:

 …You can’t serve God and…
 Money, power, greed, and lust
 Corruption, lies, and anti-trust
 The dollar signs have made you blind

Count your pennies, horde your cash
Like a pig eat all your trash
Schools of finance, brains of mush
World hell bent on money lust
You can’t serve God and money.

“Building a Better Mousetrap” attacks the corporate nature that creeps into our churches, seemingly concerned with numbers and image, rather than reaching the hearts of all people, regardless of appearance or financial standing.

Watch out for the Keith Green sample between “War” and “No Compromise” - strangely, it seems to fit.  While at the other end of the spectrum musically, both Green and Headnoise have one thing in common: an unflinching passion to do what is right in the eyes of God, and point out the need for correction in the lives of those who say one thing and do another.

Headnoise remarks in their statement of faith that they “happen to play very loud, intense music.  We are unorthodox.  We are not mainstream.  We do not conform…But above all else, we are Christians.”  I would agree with this analysis to the letter.  This album serves to remind that following Christ can be the biggest form of rebellion - against the world’s standards.

Brian A. Smith 9/24/2001

If you're into real punk and you've been to Cornerstone, you already know who Headnoise are. Sloppy old school mayhem with low female vocals and plenty of gang shouts, in the grand bootprints of the Sex Pistols, Germs, later Adolescents, Dead Kennedy's, etc. They're old school in their lyrics, too -- straight scripture, rebukes, playing devil's advocate -- everything bold and brash (also known as preachy and self-righteous, to the guilty).

With Headnoise, not only do you get primal rock at its most primitive and passionate -- you also get good, musical songs.  Songs like "War" and "Pride Disease" are particularly powerful.  Final song "My Life" is full-on goth punk, slowed down and given keyboards and haunting vocals by Edie, who repeats over and over "Lord, please save me."  It's an epic, crescendo-laden dynamo of a tune.  Although it's the last song listed, it's followed on the disc by a couple of live songs, another studio song, and an acoustic Mexicali outro.

Josh Spencer        11/25/01

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