Review: “Suburban Witchcraft” by Head In A Jar

Returning to Sydney’s Adversary Studios and the watchful gaze of producer Aaron Worboys (Bastardizer, Golgothan Remains, Graveir) who recorded their last album “Free From The Fridge“, Head In A Jar have continued their journey down the yellow brick road in order to perfect their brand of Thrash Metal which is built on the foundations of uncompromising speed, a triple vocal attack and a thematic focus on the bizarre with “Suburban Witchcraft“. This time out Marcus Alvarez (Drums), Nick Coady (Guitar and Vocals), Adrian Suljanovic (Bass and Vocals) and Gordy Whyte (Guitar and Vocals) are lucky enough to be able to utilize the skills of Toxic Holocaust guitarist Joel Grind in Portland, Oregon for Mastering while once again having Andrei Bouzikov, who has previously done likewise for Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch and High On Fire to name but a few create cover art for them…

…as with their last record Head In A Jar waste no time in delivering Pizza Thrash blended with flavours of Hardcore Punk as “Fatal Error” takes to flight. Familiar gang chants have fists raised in appreciation as Municipal Waste style riffs fly from the Flying V’s fret boards at breakneck speed while Alvarez provides a solid galloping percussion backdrop to which everyone plays as fast as they can. There are a few dices with death, a few moments where the band threaten to derail the train with the pure speed of the riffage but when an extended piece of melody slows things down before the final crescendo, it shows a completely different side to the band. There are a few times in the career of Head In A Jar where influences from Stormtroopers Of Death and Sucidal Tendencies can be heard really clearly and in the rantings of “Self-Care Despair” they are found once again as the band charge around like a bull in a China shop raising merry hell in the best possible way. Similarly there have been a wealth of bands of late who have inked cuts about the pitfalls of the modern age and this digital life and with “Algorithm and Blues” Head In A Jar gate crash that party with a rampaging riff attack and one of the finest moments of the EP. Perhaps it’s the cleaner and more theatrical vocal moments that take them in a different direction but this one also feels a bit less chaotic than the earlier cuts and a little more direct while also having the bands trademark tongue in cheek humour nailed. Curiously enough the title track conjoins the previous two distinctive stylistic directions in one blistering cut that nails the tempo changes and transitions perfectly. Head In A Jar are a cheap b-movie horror film of a band that release the cult classics and always produce a fun, headbanging listen that has more to it than meets the eye and they show absolutely no sign of changing that as they smash this one out of the park in style [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Fatal Error
  2. Self-Care Despair
  3. Algorithm and Blues
  4. Suburban Witchcraft

Suburban Witchcraft” by Head In A Jar is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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