Damaged Goods Records
HEADCOATEES, THEE "Ballad of the Insolent Pup" LP
Thee Headcoatees revel in the darker side of their nature on 1994's Ballad of an Insolent Pup, which digs deeper into the gals' angst than on most of their albums. Like their mentor Billy Childish (who wrote most of the songs on this set), Thee Headcoatees worship at the altar of garage rock, playing Brit-style beat music with a purposefully crude edge, but while they usually sound like they're out for fun, Ballad of an Insolent Pup uses their ragged '60s-style approach to share their darker moods with us. Most of the tunes here involve men who have done Debbie, Holly, Kyra, and/or Ludella wrong in one way or another, and they're not at all shy in telling us about their anger, resentment and disappointment toward their former lovers. "I Was Led to Believe," "When You Stop Loving Me," and "All My Feelings Denied" are pure rock & roll expressions of the old adage that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. However, while there's more than a little bad feeling vented on Ballad of an Insolent Pup, it's also a great slice of U.K. garage punk, sounding a bit tighter and better focused than most of Thee Headcoatees' discs, and the tunes pack a wallop that keeps the bitterness from overtaking the energy of the performances. After listening to Ballad of an Insolent Pup, it's clear you wouldn't want to cross Thee Headcoatees, but inviting them to your next party would be a capital idea.