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After birthing Street Riffs, their hi-definition, hi-energy, statement from 2020, CCR Headcleaner turned inward. The retreat from the pro-studio to the home studio was partially by design and partially decided by global events. Cleaner is very much a pandemic album, more of a homespun head trip than its predecessors. At the same time guitarist, songwriter and spiritual center of the group, Lacey Emmanuel, left the Bay for the shores of Lake Michigan. By most accounts an apocalyptic live-band became by and large a home recording animal. This is most apparent when Headcleaner turns up the balladry. “Don’t Feel the End” is a proto-metal campfire anthem, and “Everyday” hovers somewhere between keyboard misfit John Bender and the White Album. Make no mistake, the record will still be filed under “Punk” at your local record shop. It kicks off with “the brining pt. 2” the hottest slice of Funhouse free-rock that the band has committed to record. “Too Much” gives us its jail abolition rap over a two chord hardcore stomp. In a town (San Francisco) that is experiencing something of a DIY pop renaissance, Headcleaner has always fought to establish the fact that they have actual songs. This is no 70s throwback, but instead an attempt to up the ante. Without all the rock histrionics, technical arrogance and misogyny can the rock riff deliver on its ultimate promise: heavy music for total liberation. All tracks were mixed and lovingly fucked with by none other than Eric Bauer at his Bauer Mansion (RIP) Chinatown SF.