The Numero Group has announced it will reissue Bedhead’s whole discography in a box set, collectively titled Bedhead: 1992-1998. The Dallas slowcore standouts’ three albums, WhatFunLifeWas (1994), Beheaded (1996), and Transaction de Novo (1998), will be included in the box set. A fourth album, collecting the band’s singles, EPs, and outtakes, is being added to the reissue. The box set will be available on vinyl, as a five-LP pack, as well as on CD; both editions are accompanied by a 40-page book with unseen photos, artwork reproductions, lyrics, and a comprehensive essay on the band. The deluxe 5LP edition is limited to 2,000 copies.
The Texas quintet is rightfully remembered as one of the pioneering groups of slowcore. Their first album, WhatFunLifeWas, found them exploring the brooding side of the loud-quiet dynamics, showing they were already capable of writing cathartic crescendos, as “Haywire” and “Powder” attest. By their sophomore effort it was clear that Bedhead would not stick to sluggish rhythms and half-spoken vocals: the title track manages to recall Slint without breaking with Bedhead’s subdued charms. Something similar happens with the slide-guitar-laced “Withdraw” and the Lunafied “Roman Candle”. Their final album is where Bedhead came the closest to perfecting the slowcore ethos: stark soundscapes, dramatic build-ups, desolate lyrics, and undistinguished vocals — though the band also toyed with more complex song structures, shades of melody, and a rather earnest pace at given times. Transaction de Novo was recorded with Steve Albini and, some are willing to argue, is not just Bedhead’s finest work, but one of the best albums of the 90s.
The Bedhead: 1992-1998 box set is out on November 11, via the Numero Group.
• Bedhead: http://www.numerogroup.com/products/bedhead-1992-1998
• Numero Group: http://www.numerogroup.com