Get in. Get dizzy. Get out. That's the slashed-up synth-pop gameplan of London's Hands on Heads, a quartet whose hyper-caffeinated songs hover around the one-minute mark. There is method, though: doses of frantic keyboard skronk quickly give way to bouncy singalongs, often several times in the same song. And don't say they didn't warn you: raucous blurt of an album opener "Is An Umbrella Really Necessary?" lasts all of 35 seconds. No wave don't mean no fun.
Erase Errata's mangled guitar scratches, the one-finger keyboard jabs of Numbers and even the wacked-out, life-affirming synth anthems of Atom and His Package echo across Hands on Heads. But it's neither tribute or regurgitation, as the songs — which they say are about "righteous joy" and "the supernatural everyday" — pummel while showing whimsy, even as they buzzsaw your skull. Check the descending bizzaro-carnival organ line on "Romantic Aorta" or the punk-playground anthem "X as Two Sticks," that galloping squall of a verse stopping on a dime for a surprisingly sing-songy chorus. Totally (Melt) bananas.
Through it all, Luke and Christopher (the bassist and guitarist who split vocal duties) yelp wide-eyed about not wanting to be alone, "drawing triangles on the walls" and other gloriously sincere teenagisms. On the sprawling (almost-three minutes!) "Witches & Lightning" (a demo we talked them into giving us because it's so awesome), we're told, "Right now/ I believe in you more/ Than facts and figures."
We're just surprised that they bought into facts and figures in the first place.