Review: Post-punk band Bellhead’s EP ‘Good Intentions’

"EP Review

Bellhead. Photo by Melissa Oquendo

By “Atlanta Dan”, Rock At Night Atlanta

EP Review: Bellhead’s Good Intentions – Release date May 5, 2023

Chicago’s post-punk duo Bellhead released their EP Good Intentions on May 5th after spending most of 2022 on the road. The 6-song EP will appeal to all lovers of industrial or dark wave. Bellhead is comprised of Karen Righeimer (low bass/vocals) and Ivan Russia (high bass/vocals/drum machine programming). Yes, two basses. And, they work well together.

Now, let’s jump into the EP.

“Bad Taste” features Bellhead’s usual, breathy, sinister vocals over their distinctive double bass-driven beats and synths. The lyrics tell a story of a creepy guy who “waits by the phone” and “he only wants what he can’t have.” Visions of a stalker emerge—yet he believes he is normal. The lyrics add, “He says he’s a good man, does it make it true?” The catchy chorus, “leave a bad taste, leave a bad taste, leave a bad taste in my mouth,” will stay with you long after the song ends.

With its retro horror movie riff, “Into the Deep” gives me visions of the Monster of the Black Lagoon although the lyrics describe a lonely man at sea being summoned by a siren. The 50s drum beat and campy feel are the driving force over the breathy, gravelly vocals, which get buried in the mix. Still, the song draws you in and makes your feet dance happily.

With a retro 50’s beat but less industrial, “Valentine” shows that the band has depth and isn’t afraid to venture outside the dark wave realm. The song captures 80s New Wave and features a piano, a departure from the band’s signature synth sound.

“Apathy” takes a hard rock stance with its distorted rhythm guitars and solid, driving beat. Fans of 69 Eyes will be lapping this up.

Bellhead gives us their take on Love and Rocket’s classic “No Big Deal.” There is a distinctive bass line, and a nice “clank” is added to the percussion. The song will have you longing for the 80s. Our only suggestion is to turn up the vocals in the mix, so they don’t get lost in the music.

My favorite song is “Drugstore Keri,” which describes a person doing some medicinal escapism. The vocals are clear and the mixing is well-balanced. The song has almost an 80s Brit post-punk sound—but is fresh and edgy.

Bellhead isn’t afraid to experiment in Good Intentions, a sign of maturation. They do a great job of creating catchy and memorable music but still remain true to the dark wave genre.  Fans of Sisters of Mercy, Witching Hour, Love and Rockets will appreciate the EP.  We look forward to hearing where Bellhead’s music will take us next.

**Check out Bellhead’s cover of Prince “I Would Die 4 U” and their super cool song “Fire Control.”

Catch them on the remainder of their tour:

5/13 Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center – Harrisburg, PA w/ The Amatory Murder, Faux Fear, Goth Goth, Sugar Hysteria

5/14 Buzzbin – Akron, OH w/ Night Goat / Bonded By Darkness / Temple Witch

5/26 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL w/ Night Club / Iron Years / Plasmata

6/8 Cactus Club-Milwaukee, WI w/ Korine and CD Ghost

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Purchase “Good Intentions” HERE

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