Who is Car Seat Headrest? Well firstly they are a fresh take on the D.I.Y ethic, why you ask? Mainly because at the tender age of 24 (although he would probably get ID’d buying a lottery ticket) lead singer Will Toledo has written, recorded, produced and put out 11 records.
The bulk of which were mainly put out via Bandcamp and also to boot recorded in the back seat of a car… Hence the alluring moniker Car Seat Headrest was born.
Secondly, they are a shining beacon of hope that teenage angst ridden lo-fi scuzz pop has not immigrated to Europe and left America behind.
After all where would we be without the Pixies? Weezer? Pavement? EELS? All of which seem to be alive and very present and packaged in a delightful, intricate and intriguingly ‘new’ way.
Tonight’s show at Broadcast is sold out and to be fair, I would be astounded if they will ever be back to a venue this size again; it’s overcrowded, it’s muggy and you can feel every chord reverberate off of the basement walls.
“You guys seem to like it hot; we accidently left our guitars on stage and we now need to re-tune them because it got hot” blurts out hypodermic thin Toledo, avoiding eye contact.
Who can blame him when he was a foot away from 200 sweaty Glaswegians who are all staring intently at him, waiting patiently for Toledo to start jetting out his own brand of awkward sophomoric vitriol.
And that’s exactly what is delivered as the band launch into ‘The Ending of Dramamine’, a goliath 14 minutes of pure grunge fuzz that seems to take a stroll through 50’s Du-Wop et al The Clovers and scratchy husky vocals of Mark Oliver Everett.
Next up is ‘Fill in the Blank’, which is the first to be played from this year’s release via Matador, Teens of Denial and is the perfect example of how loud CSH can be, which in a venue this size is very.
‘1937 State Park’ seems to spark a bit of a sing-a-long with the crowd chanting “I didn’t want you to hear that shake in my voice” and “I cried walking home”, however ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Wales’ and ‘Destroyed by Hippie Powers’ spark the biggest rendition of singing of the night.
Penultimate track is ‘Stop Smoking’, which sees Toledo on stage on his own for a very stripped back lo-fi ballad with a biting message of “stop smoking, we love you, we don’t want you to die”.
The band come back on stage for one more in ‘Unforgiving Girl (She’s Not An)’, which is delivered quickly before a sharp exit.
This seems to bewilder the most of the crowd who stand around waiting for more, perhaps they were waiting for some of the band’s regarded ‘hits’ like, ‘Something Soon’ or ‘Vincent’, but they never came.
A confident move from a band who at the beginning of their career already have a daunting back catalogue.
Words/Photos: Ang Canavan