A lo pass filter is not a nicotine-challenged cigarette. It is not a tractor part, nor does it have anything to do with air-conditioning, photography, or family planning. A LoPassFilter is a time machine, a cowgirl, some flies, and a cranium in disarray-all bound together with some duct tape. Crampton Helms, founder of LoPassFilters, is the lead vocalist, guitarist and song writer in the band. He worked in various low-altitude cover bands through the 70's and 80's. The last band he worked in was Les Beauvines, along with LPF bassist Mark Brooks back in the late 80's and early 90's. After the Beauvines split up in 199, Crampton pretty much left his guitars under the bed and concentrated on his career in the business world, got married and settled into life in a small town. For the most part, the guitars were ignored and music became more of a passive component of his life. In the spring of 2001, Crampton and bassist Tommy Smith formed LoPassFilters in support of the female trio Southern Grace for a show at Kyle Petty's farm in North Carolina, opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. They later decided to keep the band together and pick up some local gigs. After Smith got married and left the band in the spring of 2002, Crampton contacted Brooks, who, as luck would have it, was between gigs. Mark had been touring, recording, and performing with such acts as Dolly Parton, Billy Joe Shaver, and the DirtClods. He'd done gigs on the Today Show and the Grand Ole Opry, and Dollywood. Drummer Dan Goodman out of Dearborn, Michigan was the missing piece of the LPF puzzle. Dan is also a veteran road dog, touring the states with Todd Herendeen and the FTD Band, and later Gary Brinin & Drivin' Force, opening for acts like Grand Funk and CCR. The trio soon found a large amount of chemistry exists between them, and with it, some latent creative energy followed. Crampton started cranking out new songs at a high rate, arranging them with Mark and Dan at weekly rehearsals in the Helms' living room. It soon became clear to them that they should record some of these songs. In July 2002, they took a rough demo CD of a few songs to Matt Lincoln of Underground Recording in Seymour TN. Lincoln was impressed enough with the tunes that he encouraged the band to make a full-fledged album. The result is 'Wood Head,' an eclectic collection of ten songs with strong British pop melodies mixed with gun-metal blues and West Coast rock. The songs are laced with irony, black humor and paradox. 'Quantum Mechanic' is about a fellow with a time machine who worries that any attempt to use it for good or fun, may change the world for the worse. 'Fly on a Screen' is a funky Film Noir vignette about a trip on the wrong side of the law by a naïve lover who ends up at the long end of a bad fall. 'Duct Tape' is a heavy blues number about unrequited love and auto repair, while 'Cowgirl on the Wall', a visit to the Country ballad world, is an ode to a 'wanted' poster. All the songs share a common thread of world-weary skepticism, but with no trace of bitterness. This happens because the band doesn't feel the need to drag the listener to mope about in some post-modern relativism quagmire. The energy of the band and their enthusiasm for playing with each other brings smiles to their faces that you can hear on the CD. That's infectious in a very good way. The duality of positive and negative found on every cut of 'Wood Head' makes it a CD one can mine for something new with every listen.
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