Returning with their first new album since 2017’s Little Army, Kingston, Ontario’s ‘90s hard rock and punk outfit, Headstones, have released PEOPLESKILLS. True to form, Headstones bring forward a hard-hitting and explosive eleven track record that certainly delivers.
PEOPLESKILLS opens with the crunching rocker “Leave It All Behind”. While the high energy track sets the tone for the rest of the record, it, along with the next few songs, feel done before by the band. “Dimes And Pennies” has a ripping riff and “Damned” packs a punch reminiscent of The Ramones, but I felt the album truly picked up steam with the folky ballad, “Motorcade”. The song comes out of nowhere and is driven by a dark, almost cinematic vibe that propels the song forward.
As the album continues, Headstones seem to pick up from where they left off on Little Army with a far more innovative sound and a raw, aggressive energy. Between the near flamenco interlude and the heavy breakdown at the end, “Caught In A Loop” stands as one of the most impressive examples of this on the album. The same could also be said about the western inspired, “Dark Side Of The Doom”. Furthermore, “Part Of Me”, “By Sunday”, and “That’s What I Get” bring the album to a strong conclusion.
All in all, PEOPLESKILLS stands as yet another strong entry into Headstones’ discography as they continue to push forward since reforming in 2011. The record is both nostalgic and refreshing as Headstones continue to develop their unique take on punk rock; one that ultimately pays homage to the founders and icons of the genre, while remaining distinctly that of the band.