Damaged Goods Records
HEADCOATEES, THEE "Have Love Will Travel" LP
While generally thought of as the Ladies' Auxiliary of Billy Childish's empire of U.K. garage rock, thee Headcoatees are a fine rock & roll combo in their own right, and their second full-length album, Have Love Will Travel, shows that while they happily collaborate with Childish, they have a style and identity of their own. Childish produced the sessions and wrote most of the songs, but thee Headcoatees display a slightly lighter touch and a more musical approach than their mentor, and they host some fine vocal talent in Holly Golightly and Kyra La Rubia, making Have Love Will Travel a more cheerful and less aggressive work than most of Childish's own projects. The tunes are simple but they boast a higher percentage of hooks than Childish's own albums, and the lyrics deliver a suitably gal-centric perspective on that most traditional of all pop music themes, romance, though they do offer a vital history lesson with "Louis Riel," deliver some sound advice on "Mess of Pottage," and show they can bash as hard as they want on their cover of the Chordettes' "My Boyfriend's Learning Karate." thee Headcoatees aren't so much Billy Childish with girls or Thee Headcoats Lite as a pop-leaning variation on the traditional Medway Rock theme, and this has enough spunk and spirit to confirm that there's nothing wrong with being a pop group, especially when you can cover "Big Boss Man" and "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" this well. Big fun and both tougher and better crafted than you might expect.