Coventry Tic Toc
Ironic that fame should arrive via the nude lads pic on the current single, for Onionhead have long deserved their moment of, er exposure- and set about the Cov punters with the careless gusto of men who know their time has come.
Opening with ‘Monkey Man’ (a cover of the Stones classic) and their own eponymous anthem, the band quickly establish their credentials as scrawny street fighting sonic sluggers, capable of mixing it with an audience hungry for brawling guitar action. But it’s during their more reflective moments that the band’ singularity becomes evident the likes of ‘Honest to God’ betray a rare talent for tough but tender emotional rock, informed (but not blighted) by a love of The Beach Boys and Neil Young.
Throughout, singer Jules, dressed like a man for whom a park bench would be a step up in the world, writhes around the mike stand in an agitated daze of fury, providing a compulsive visual focus. But it’s guitarist Paul Edwards who stands at the ‘Head’s musical heart, his harmonies beefing up the vocals when Jules ‘plays hunt the key’, while on ‘Sammy don’t care’ and especially ‘Cold Water’ his note bending dexterity delivers the finger-pickin’ goods.
Right now, Onionhead are kings of the Indie jingle jangle jungle, rivalled only by Teenage Fanclub in the realm of punked-up West Coast Yank fusion. Let’s hope they soon move up to major label honours; otherwise the band are threatening to resort to Plan B, the world’ first gatefold pop up nudie album sleeve. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Adrian Goldberg. Sounds. 08/12/90
NME interview May 89 Sounds interview Feb 90
Melody Maker interview Mar 90 Sounds interview Jan 91
Melody Maker interview Feb 91 Melody Maker live review Aug 91
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