If you look up Headcharger on a search engine you’ll notice the word ‘metalcore’ cropping up, but this is totally misleading as the French rockers have more in common with the likes of Alice in Chains, Clutch, High on Fire or even AC/DC. Bringing together a potent mix of rock n’ roll, southern rock, a dash of old-school punk attitude and an upbeat swing to their playing, “Slow Motion Disease” is the band’s fourth album and could well be the one to make those who aren’t aware sit up and notice.
Kicking into gear with lead-off single ‘All Night Long’ it’s quite clear that this band are up for partying and, much like their energetic live shows, they want to take you with them. Easily as rollickingly catchy as anything by, say, Airbourne, the band don’t rest on their laurels and carry on the energetic vibe with ‘Don’t Need You’, a bouncy rocker with singer Seb switching from throaty roar in the verses to a clean, melodic chorus without sounding forced.
So far, so good but it’s on fourth track ‘Fires of Hell’ that the band change the pace and add a bit of groove into proceedings, creating a mid-paced stomper that brings to mind Black Label Society and also makes for an early album highlight. The straight-ahead ‘Should Be Running’ follows and brings back the AC/DC/Airbourne feel with a main riff that the Young brothers would surely approve of. After the choppy aggression of ‘Dusty Dreams’ the band drop in an acoustic piece entitled ‘The Life of a…’ that serves as an intro to ‘…Drifter’, a mid-paced rocker that sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd with a European accent. A bit of an odd combination but it works.
The final run of the album doesn’t quite match up to the first part, with only the melodic hard rock of ‘Annoyin’n’noisy’ being anywhere near as memorable as those early tracks. The haunting title track rounds things out in a mellower mood than when the album began but doesn’t really come across as meaningful as the band probably think it does.
Overall, “Slow Motion Disease” is a good album that has a couple of excellent moments. The rock n’ roll worship of AC/DC is great fun, and tracks like ‘All Night Long’ could easily give the band a hit if they can get the exposure, but it’s on the tracks that hold back on the party vibe a little where things get a bit more interesting. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.