by Simon Reynolds
Head On gets me flashing on the boogie wonderland of the post-disco, pre-house interregnum--the bulbous synth-bass and juicy-fruit keyboard licks of Gap Band, Steve Arrington, Man Parrish, D-Train, SOS Band. But as you'd expect from someone who records solo for avant-techno labels Mille Plateaux and Tresor, Vogel's version of bodymusic is decidedly mangled and alienated-sounding, while Lidell croons a kind of cyborg hypersoul--grotesquely mannered, FX-warped, yet queerly compelling. Head On's highlight "Darn (Cold Way O' Lovin')" has a groove that bucks and writhes like a rutting hippotamus. "Take Me Home" is robo-Cameo, featuring a digitized equivalent of slap-bass and Lidell's most blackface warbling (imagine a bionic Steve Winwood). And "Alchemical Confession" is the kind of black rock I always hoped Tackhead or Material would deliver, all acrid guitar squalls and Lidell flailing like Jamiroquai in a meatgrinder (now that's something I'd pay to see).