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Real Hair

Rollerball

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Album Review

Let's put it simply: Real Hair takes Rollerball to a new level. This album manages to retain the lo-fi/experimental feel of earlier efforts while being better produced, better written, and more sharply focused. Studio experimentation is still a major feature, but it is now embedded in tight rock songs that blend lo-fi/noise rock, alternative, ska/reggae, and avant-prog elements. "Girls Hugging Trees" opens with a delicate trio call from accordion, saxophone, and trumpet, before Mini Wagonwheel's bass riff kicks in. Once the melody enters, it becomes obvious that Real Hair is a few steps ahead, in terms of arrangements, of any previous Rollerball album. "66 Deadhead Spies" has at its core a very nice piano melody, its slight quirkiness allowing for strange developments to spiral out of its medium tempo. "Eight Inch Nun" has the slow pace and foggy improv feel of a Supersilent track. "Starling" adopts a reggae feel, making good use of the group's small horn section, and the song sounds like it could hit the airwaves — until all hell break loose in the bridge section, where the horn section tears the cue sheet, shredding tonality to pieces. These are only a few of the delightful quirks in Real Hair. Each piece holds its surprises, but the biggest one is to find the group in such top compositional shape. That and the fact that they pull it off without ever compromising their edge. Essential American alternative rock. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Formed: Portland, OR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

This Portland, Oregon group are not easy to pigeonhole, as they veer from mellow but dark pop songs to completely skronky improvisation. With male and female vocals, a variety of instruments, and a willingness to throw...
Full Bio
Real Hair, Rollerball
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