Of all Portland bands, one of my longest held favorites is Thee Headliners. I hadn’t gone to see them in a while, so I managed to remain unaware that they had released a new album, Rain and Blood, a full 6 months ago! Thankfully, Paul and I stumbled across it while digging through the tons of vinyl at Everyday Music.
Besides having some of the most ridiculous(ly amazing!) cover art I have ever seen, Rain and Blood also contains many of their most accomplished songs to date. I’ve always thought that Thee Headliners seemed like a band that would perform at The Lobo Lounge. (Remember? It’s the bar they would hang out at on Roseanne.) Though that sound has always served them well live, it was impossible not to wonder what the band would sound like if they stretched their wings a little and flew into more progressive territory. On Rain and Blood what you end up getting is an unexpected polarization of Thee Headliners sound. Half the tracks are thoroughly forward thinking rock while the other half largely fall back on traditional and tired country and rockabilly hooks.
As a listener, it is hard to not see a shiningly perfect 6 song EP buried within a bunch of referential filler. In my opinion, Thee Headliners are one of the cities strongest performers and they are clearly capable of crafting amazingly written songs. I look forward to see what they have written since releasing the album, and hope it carries the same strong elements present on much of Rain and Blood.
September 10th they are playing in the Ponderosa Lounge in the North Portland Jubitz truck stop( which is practically as good as seeing them at the actual Lobo Lounge) with another local favorite of the Gaycondo house, Advisory. I’ll be there, why don’t you be there too?
Below, a live video of Thee Headliners performing “You Don’t Know”, my favorite track off the new album.
p.s. Wouldn’t you agree that Holly is maybe the best Portland singer ever? AND while playing drums!