Sometimes when you have nothing going on during a rainy Friday night, your best option is to acquiesce and check out the local band all your friends buzz about. Anyone opening up for one of my favorite rock bands of the '90s and who also gets favorable reviews from jaded New York critics can only mean a good time. So I traipse over to the LES, get some drinks, and stand arms crossed, waiting for Jordan Blaugrund (vocals), Eliot Wadsworth (guitar), Brett Sherman (bass), and Michael Blaugrund (drums) of The Head Set to impress me. Recent winners of CMJ’s Battle of the (NYC) Bands, the gentlemen’s relatively mild live show drew a good crowd at sin-e.
The four are obviously technically talented musicians. Stand out songs like "Maybeline", "1982" ,and "I Found Out" quickly drew straggling smokers back into the venue. The Head Set has often been compared to The Strokes, where Jordan’s vocals recall Julian Casablancas at Chris Cornell’s octave. The band also shares similar swaggering stage antics to the former (minus the purposeful drunken state) - by the fifth song, Michael loses a cymbal, and by the seventh, Jordan’s mic is completely dismantled. However, the band manages to stave off the simple, predictable hooks. Whether that is a plus or minus is up to you. Personally, I’m waiting for The Head Set to find a distinctive sound that sets them apart from the other local bands in the genre. Luckily, I believe they are not too far from discovering it.
Check out The Head Set during their November residency on Wednesdays at Piano’s or performing at CMJ Fest.
Source: Joyce Lee