A scene at a St. Louis Payless Shoe Source:
HEAD ON COLLISION: Hey man, where can we find some white hightops?
PAYLESS CASHIER: Sorry dudes, we're all out. They've been on back order for two years.
HEAD ON COLLISION: Are you freakin' kiddin' me??? It's like the most generic kind of shoe you could ask for!
PAYLESS CASHIER: You boys got here a little late -- Warbringer, Evile, Merciless Death, Fueled By Fire, Avenger of Blood, Municipal Waste, Bonded By Blood, Violator, Toxic Holocaust and Blood Tsunami snapped up the last 50 pairs.
HEAD ON COLLISION: Damn boys, we gotta haul ass to Hot Topic before they sell out of bullet belts.
You don't really have to listen to St. Louis's Head On Collision for the same reason that you don't really need to listen to any of the other dozens of greenhorn thrash bands snatching up all the skinny jeans over the last year: they bring absolutely nothing new to metal, at best offering high quality re-treads of your favorite Exodus, Vio-Lence and Death Angel tracks, at worst sounding like faceless, redundant wastes of dexterous picking abilities.
Originality is out of the question, so what's left? As thrash revivalists go, Head On Collision are pretty varied in the sources of their cribbage. "Violence and Aggression" is a straight re-write of Slayer's "Angel of Death," down to the opening vocal pattern. "Fear" encompasses the creeping melodies of Ride the Lightning-era Metallica, while the belt-fed riffs of some tracks approach death metal chromaticism. Bay Area gang vox pop up occasionally, and there's a lot of Tom G. Warrior in Pat McCauley's vocals, which is a good thing considering Head on Collision's lyrics rehash the same ol' topics of fear, war, aggression and death, in the same didactic ways as their influences.
Then there's the elusive quality of "conviction," which is certainly present in Head on Collision's vicious guitar tone and slightly muddy production. But every great 80s thrash band had conviction, and to me, the studied seriousness of Ritual Sacrifice just throws into sharper relief how little the band has to offer. Even a note-perfect recreation of ye olde thrash metal (which Ritual Sacrifice isn't) doesn't scratch my thrash itch, because after 20 years of dormancy, I'm not really itching anymore. Dated and proud, Head On Collision are only for serious metal time capsule types.
Thrash 'til the break of yawn at Head On Collision's MySpace page