Boing!! – NME – January 1992
Ahh – the patchwork quilt of pop! With over 30 years of history to plunder, being a young popular music ensemble in 1991 must be an absolute hoot, a breathless rush to the Christmas pillowcase to tear the paper off everything from The Beatles to The Byrds to Bowie to, erm, Wonder Stuff. The trick is, of course, to infuse the mischievously acquired awag with the living, breathing qualities of your own imagination.
It sounds like Airhead had tremendous fun putting their sound together; wisely steering clear of the darker underbelly of rock, they content themselves with being bouncy. With ‘Boing’ as a title you know you aren’t going to get Leonard Cohen covers, but what you do get is a irrepressible, intensely likeable pop album delivered with a sackload of energy, spirit and zero pretension.
‘Scrap Happy’ breezes in on a gust of upfull Teardroppyness, but with the relentless dynasim of EMF of Jesus Jones. ‘Right Now’ has the vibrancy and chiming melodic grace of the Stuffies, as does the pop-stomp of ‘Easy’, despite its trippy Beatles guitar and druggy lyrics; ‘Congratulations’ goes for a tail-end-of-baggy beat with a Blur-style sulkiness, and recent top single ‘Funny How’ indulges in a charmingly bashful pop-pup reflection.
Airhead take jangley guitar pop by the throat and thrash it around until it sweats; Michael WIllis’ songs are confident and show more depth than some of his peers’, particularly the bittersweet pop of ‘I Might Fall’.
Still, as growing up in public goes, ‘Boing’ is a mighty entertaining kind of puberty. Goodnight Zebedee.
Boing!! – Select – January 1992
Here’s a record that induces an uncontrollable urge to grin inanely. This is what pop music is all about – fun, sun and escapism. How great is it to stick on a new album by a band you’ve never heard before and to just think, Wow!
‘Boing’ pinches bits wilfully from pop’s great sphere, from The Wonder Stuff’s sublimity and EMF’s exuberance to indie-dance’s groviness, all with a light sprinkling of 60′s spacedust. If it hadn’t worked, Airhead (they’ve just dropped “Jefferson” from their name) would have been platitudinous; as it is, they’re clever people with an ear for a good tune.
There is one overtly dodgy moment – the swirling twee of ‘Wish You Were Here’ – but that’s another thing that pop music is all about: forgiveness. Hell, three cheers for pop!
Boing!! – unknown – January 1992
Having expertly ticked pop’s G-spot with their recent Funny How single, Airhead unleash a whole party pack of moist, sexy numbers just aching to get at your EARogenous zones.
Right Now skips along in a bright, breezy and harmonious fashion, Easy is a trippy, footstomping swirl of psychedelic images.
Then there’s Congratulations with it’s chiming keyboards, bitter vocals and sensuous, hazy bassline and the folky Isn’t It Rich… “If God’s such a nice guy then why is it life’s such a bitch?”. I don’t know but the earth definitely moved for me.
Funny how – NME – September 1991
I can never again be accused in the office of not appreciating a decent ‘pop’ song. No longer will Swells hold my head down the toilet until I agree that ‘Ride On Time’ was the greatest House record ever.
Well cop this you lot, this is brill indie pop crossover, with everything from the ‘right’ chords ((c) Neville Baker-Street) in all the right places, down to a ‘proper’ chorus about girls and things, and containing the corker line, “It’s funny how the girls you fall in love with never fancy you, funny how the ones you don’t do” Fat Slags reference or what! Brilliant.
Borderline gig – NME
Never go by size. So there’s a hundred people here, tops, but to be present at the start of something larger than you can yet understand is gratifying. There’s an undercurrent here that tingles, excited and finally burns. You’ve turned on the Christmas tree lights and stuck your fingers in the mains by accident. Once called Jefferson Airhead, a tongue-in-cheek poke at the playful ’60s psychedelia they so deftly employ, this group have a cocksure youthfulness of EMF and the groovy pop sounds to go with it.
Singer/guitarist Mike knows it, grinning wiht a confidence that says he knows your sordid past and is prepared to tell all your friends.
Sod musicianship – airtight and flailing as it is – melody is where the Maidstone quartet are at. If they nailed your feet to the floor you’d still end up dancing. ‘Right Now’ points them at The Wonder Stuff, but instead of cynicism there’s an endearing floppy recklessness.
Even the tiny, cramped Borderline stage fails to restrain the mood. Image is not their concern, the motley imbalance of horizontal fringes and hastily raided wardrobes shows that. All that matters is Having A Good Time. If Airhead were any more casual they wouldn’t have bothered turning up.
And the songs. Not one falls short of the groove, even the B-sides. Best is ‘Funny How’, repeated for the second encore. It’s maddeningly catchy couplet “It’s funny how the girls you fall in love with never fancy you, funny how the ones you don’t do…” has the blokes at the front punching the air in sympathy, a scary proof of male bonding.
Airhead inhabit a world where pretension is taboo and every step os through one of those bouncy castles. I want each of their babies.