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Headpins - 1982 Turn It Loud

ARTIST: Headpins
ALBUM: Turn It Loud
LABEL: Solid Gold
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2000, Solid Gold, SGRCD 79786 * 2006, Wounded Bird, WOU-151


LINEUP: Darby Mills - lead vocals * Brian 'Too Loud' MacLeod - guitars, keyboards * Ab Bryant - bass, backing vocals * Bernie Aubin - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Turn It Loud * 02 Keep Walkin' Away * 03 Don't Ya Ever Leave Me * 04 People * 05 Don't It Make Ya Feel * 06 Winnin' * 07 You Can't Have Me * 08 Breakin' Down


The Headpins website introduces this Canadian band as being the loudest band ever to come from Canada. Haha, admirable and fighting words indeed, but I think the truth of the matter is that other Canadian metal bands will disagree with that statement. Anvil perhaps? Still, there are many fans of this staple band from Vancouver, who first rocked out as early as 1979 would you believe. Headpins was a dual collaboration between Brian MacLeod and Ab Bryant; both guys having histories with Chilliwack and Prism. However, the focal point was obviously the amazing voice of Darby Mills, who eventually became one of the hottest vocal talents in Canada around this time. She wasn't the original singer however; that selection choice went to Denise MacCann. Mills joining in 1980, having spent some time with fellow Vancouver band Steelback. In 1981, Headpins won a local radio contest, and then signed to Bill Henderson's Solid Gold Records - the home of fellow Canucks Toronto. Henderson and MacLeod were also actively pushing their band Chilliwack who in 1981 had drifted into Billboard territory with their 'Wanna Be A Star' LP and two singles 'My Girl (Gone Gone Gone)' and 'I Believe'.

The Songs
'Turn It Loud' was Headpins debut LP from 1982, and was a fiery full of energy 8-tracker. The title track sets the scene from the position of track 1. It's all on for young and old, as this one lays down some energetic power, and that voice From Mills is set to stun minutes into our listening time. Big drums, and a thumping back-end are the ingredients for 'Keep Walking Away', same goes for 'Don't Ya Ever Leave Me', whoever mixed the drums did an awesome job! 'People' at six and a half minutes is the album's crankiest track. Kinda boogie, kinda classic rock but with a lethal delivery system. The MacLeod guitar solo at the halfway mark is some of the best work he ever laid down onto studio tape I reckon. 'Don't It Make You Feel' and 'You Can't Have Me' are both derived from the Headpins template that would follow in later years. 'Winnin' (and no, I don't think Charlie Sheen stole this term for his personal use), has a stalking come prowling attitude, while the seven minute 'Breakin' Down' is probably the track which sounds different to anything else on the album. The ambient keyboard intro eventually turns into a subdued rocker, but it very rarely gets out of third gear. Still, it's an interesting song from the Headpins casebook.

In Summary
You can read more about Headpins on the tag below. In later years, the reissue market saw this album in various guises, including original label Solid Gold (2000) and Wounded Bird (2006). There are several compilations of their material from 1982-1985 (which you check on the band's website discography page), but the collection of songs from this period is a bit unbalanced. The band are still on the Canadian classic rock circuit, but no new material is forthcoming, I'd be preaching to the converted about this band to GDM readers, but still it's a good time to double-check your CD collection for Headpins items.

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#1 | aaasreg on October 19 2016 22:07:40
Sorry, but the drum sound is terrible. Could be really a great hard rock album, but ...
#2 | jefflynnefan on October 20 2016 02:11:58
Great band all the way around! And this is the album to get you started. Watching all the footage on Youtube of Brian MacCleod playing guitar gives me chills. If there ever was a guitar player that didn't get the fame he deserves, it's Brian.

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