Artist: Terminalhead
Title: Weekend Warriors
Label: Kilowatt Recordings
By: Nick Bower | 23 April 2003
  1. What Time Is It?
  2. Mind Of Your Own
  3. How Does It Feel?
  4. P.Y.O.
  5. Breaking Rules
  6. Poison
  7. Headstrong
  8. Weekend Warriors
  9. Beats, Rhymes, Flavour
  10. Dubious
  11. The Scene

Terminalhead "Weekend Warriors"

Out Now on Kilowatt Recordings

Kilowatt Recordings widely respected breakbeat 'band' made of trio Pete Marett, Lee Groves and MC Spee release their debut album, showing us what they've got to offer over 11 tracks. What we get is a mish-mash of sounds, displaying the many different sides of breakbeat and the influences it can draw from.

With its stuttered, vocodered, phasing vocal questioning "What Time Is It?" and crisp kick drums this track dives straight in to open up the album, no holds barred. Its ragga/dub samples set the mood for a number of the tracks on Weekend Warriors that have a similar feel. A hypnotic and repeated bassline burbles in the background with the vocals and the ragga samples really coming to the fore.

Released earlier this year, 'Mind Of Your Own' gained many supporters in the breaks, progressive house and even garage camps thanks to being backed by a set of genre-busting remixes. On the album though the 2-step style original version features, instantly reminding you that the track really is pretty catchy. Once again we get in yer face vocodered vocals that Terminalhead do so well, distorted basslines rumble menacingly and light synths play in the background. This is the first track on the album that features the group's MC Spee.

If ever a track sounded like it was penned after a bad day its got to be 'How Does It Feel?'. Boy has this track got attitude and then some! Almost verging on punky grunge-rock backed by a ferocious break, its trashy lead guitar screams the opening riff into the main male half-spoken vocal, dipping in and out of a gruffly sung chorus. Three quarters through the track slams straight into a muted oscillated acidic riff with a cool "How Does It feel" vocal slinking through the middle. Raw.

Opening with strings and downtempo beat that wouldn't be out of place in a chart r&b tune, 'P.Y.O.' for me is perhaps the weakest track on 'Weekend Warriors', however the snappy if not slightly corny Spee rap ("...Persistent young offender, you've been on a bender...") and the poppy chorus with female backing will no doubt gain this track fans from both hip hop and r&b quarters.

We're back on track with 'Breaking Rules', possibly contender for best breaks track on the album. Its classic Terminalhead - phat and full of energy. Its without doubt that this track will get the nuskool breaks masses bouncing round with smiles as wide as Cheshire cats. 'Breaking Rules' opens with an echoy and atmospheric electrical crackling, soon joined by hi hats, leading into an upbeat and chunky kickdrum. The track progressively adds new elements to the mix... and then hurtles headlong into a tearing, searing and aggressive synth riff which takes over the track and really leads the way from there on. Good stuff.

Featuring a slow and haunting piano melody and a downtempo kick this is new, undiscovered Terminalhead territory. 'Poison' simply oozes atmosphere, a sleek spookiness that sets the hairs on the back of your neck tingling. A very cool vocodered "You got Poison" drifts in an out as a loose chorus just adding to the overall emotion of the track. Later on, a full male vocal emerges along with whispered spoken lines that just makes you want this track to go on and on. Terminalhead are probably more recognised for their ballsy uptempo numbers, but the drop in bpm on 'Poison' certainly ensures that this is one powerful and emotional track which is bound to excite.

Shouted Spee vocals from the off, as the warm trance-style synths of 'Headstrong' murmur in the background amidst a host of squeaky bleeps all held together by a dirty, shuffly breakbeat and a bellowed male vocal chorus. Sounding rather reminiscent of The Crystal Method in places, this track provides a good bridge between the downtempo track prior and the following track which sees the pace pick up.

Taking and re-working a distorted guitar sample from Kilowatt head honcho DJ Hyper's remix of Filter - 'Where Do We Go', the title track adds a dose of Stereo MC-style male vocals, a groovy bassguitar line and laidback attitude over the top. 'Weekend Warriors' will appeal to lovers of many styles - from breaks to hip hop and could you could certainly imagine it being a soundtrack to a chilled Summer.

Instantly recognisable to many breaks-heads, 'Beats, Rhymes, Flavour' is a slab of nuskool breaks at its best. A growling beast of a bassline, wildly manic acid beeps fly around and a stuttered "Who got the beats..?" all roll together to form one aggressive but fun track. Oh, did I forget to mention the heavy breaks kick the weight of an overweight rhino, too? Needless to say you can almost feel the bounce from many a dancefloor coming through on this one.

A drifting mysterious and cinematic start and end to this track, soft synths whirl and intermingle with odd snippets of a distorted male talking. 'Dubious' (with definite emphasis on the 'dub'!) is a laidback lounging track with a lazy bass guitar lick and has a real slow head nodding vibe about it. Later in the track echoey drum & bass drum rolls drop through the dubby haze and add to the overall hypnotic qualities of this slow but powerful number.

Lush strings are sampled and looped to form a bed for Spee to drop his opening lyrics of 'The Scene' before the chorus kicks in backed with a gnarly bassy synth noise..."Is this the scene that you wanna be seen in...". Another 'track with attitude' and one that again shows off some of the best elements of the album - merging mean and moody lyrics or dirty basslines with slow haunting melodies.

All in all 'Weekend Warriors' is pretty mixed bag but certainly an interesting end result. Some of the less obvious/unreleased tracks actually could end up being the most enjoyable to listen to over time, with the big breakbeat tracks sure to get plenty of spins out and about in clubland.

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