The Head & The Habit


From the cover art to the songwriting to the music and vocal execution to the production values, “The Head & The Habit” hammers all the chords.
June 10, 2024

My name is Gary, and I am a GREENLEAF addict. Unlike most addictions, though, this one won’t rot out my teeth or give me a heart attack, though it may make me go deaf or exacerbate my already bothersome tinnitus. GREENLEAF, the Stoner Rock foursome and not some herbal fix, has been delighting fans for more than 25 years now with their Swedish-perfectionist approach to the fuzzy subgenre. On June 21, 2024, they drop their ninth full-length album, “The Head & The Habit” via Napalm Records and Magnetic Eye Records. It is addictive as hell.    

“The Head & The Habit” delivers a full payload of nine tracks across 43 minutes of playtime. The band explains that “as the album title implies, the new songs resemble symbolic short stories that revolve around emotional struggles and even mental illness.” While that may be true, I found the songs accessible and relatable to everyday life. Now, it could be that my life is way fucked up and I should seek treatment, but I think it’s more likely that life in general poses an assortment of challenges which tend to pitch and pull the average person in a million different directions. It’s a bit like trying to stand still on a trampoline while someone else is actually using it. So, yeah, “The Head & The Habit,” I get it.

Standout tracks are many, but I leaned toward the opening track, “Breathe, Breathe Out.” I also loved the video featuring Tommi Holappa’s daughter, showing a lighter side of the band. I also dug the funky, fuzzy “Oh Dandelion.” Sebastian Olsson (drums) gets down and nasty on this track. Pristine filth this one. I also puzzled over the uneasy cautionary tales of “That Obsidian Grin” and “An Alabastrine Smile.” The first is nested at mid-album, an acoustic bluesy track which showcases Arvid Hällagård’s range. The second is the album closer, a fuzzy lament that picks through the ruins of a fallen relationship.

I should also mention the stunning cover art which was created by Arvid Hällagård using AI, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Regardless of the AI debate, I found it compelling. The cover depicts the ever-shifting mindscape in the figure of a tree/head/moon/house. It’s like an undiscovered Tarot card. For those who enjoy the visuals, the album is also available in some stunning formats including a CD art book, a full color digisleeve CD, and both red and white vinyl. Hällagård has stated: "I created this artwork by trying to make illustrations out of what was going on in my head while I was writing the lyrics for the album—the pictures you see in your head and the color themes that appear while writing the stories."

From the cover art to the songwriting to the music and vocal execution to the production values, “The Head & The Habit” hammers all the chords. On par with so much of their catalogue, GREENLEAF delivers another masterwork.



10 / 10









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"The Head & The Habit " Track-listing:

1. Breathe, Breathe Out

2. Avalanche

3. Different Horses

4. A Wolf In My Mind

5. That Obsidian Grin

6. The Sirens Sound

7. Oh Dandelion

8. The Tricking Tree

9. An Alabastrine Smile


Greenleaf Lineup:

Tommi Holappa – Guitars

Arvid Hällagård – Vocals

Hans Fröhlich – Bass

Sebastian Olsson – Drums 


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