Wireheads: Lightning Ears

- Wireheads are one of those great assemblages of underground rock where clever songwriting meets whimsical abandon and there in the middle of their sonic pavlova is a music that will confound, challenge and elicit great joy. After a cycle of members and an increasing rabble of affable tunes, the Adelaide ensemble have assembled their fourth album, Lightning Ears.

This album is largely, and beautifully, absurd, lyrically and texturally. Its cultural scope presents a varied reflection of the many curious and creatively free artists of the sixties. Lightning Ears sounds like The Modern Lovers have hijacked the yellow submarine, mounted the sub on the railway tracks, stuffed a Can album in the tape deck and are proceeding to ride from Adelaide to Brisbane, placing contact mics on every train station they pass - capturing, and relaying, tales of ciggie butts, hipster bunyips and black hole academics.

The straight up garage rockers like Technical Man, Protein Dealer and Love Machine are disorienting in their simplicity, hammering out your meat and potatoes with a rigorous sense of distended pop, especially as Dom Trimboli’s ocker drawl and loose-orbit phrasing carry such a lovely mesh of unbridled consciousness and underground narrative.

I found the most magic to be imbued in the somewhat kraut trajectories of songs like Is Frances Faye God? and Poison Apples. The sense of shambolic adventure is positively psychedelic, with their literary playfulness combined with uninhibited musicality proving to be rather dissociative, a joyful escape.

Ultimately, Lightning Ears is endearingly eccentric. Playfully accepting humanity’s insignificance within the big picture and appreciating the significance you present to your fellow human. It’s literary and thoughtful, philosophical and silly and a rollickingly good natured rock album.

- NJR.

Album Details

Album Title: Lightning Ears
Artist: Wireheads
Record Label: (Tenth Court)