The Heavy / The Glorious Dead
Joe Woolmer takes on Bath's very own rock'n'rollers for a bit of a rough and tumble...
The Glorious Dead
Despite being from the innocuous but beautiful Bath, The Heavy are a massive hit in the States and are hoping to continue that success and build on their presence at home with their notoriously difficult third release. If they were worried about stepping off the pace though, they shouldn’t have. On ‘The Glorious Dead’ they’ve thrown their mix of blues, rock, gospel, soul and funk into a giant sized blender and turned it on full power with no lid on, creating a glorious menu of high class audible treats.
The first two tracks already give you an idea of the range on offer. ‘Can’t Play Dead’ is a thumping piece of Mississippi swamp-inspired garage rock whereas Curse My Name has a Northern Soul brilliance that makes it one of the best tracks of the record. Later on ‘Just My Luck’ throws together the slower side of this Northern Soul influence with punk verses and a brass band finale. The fact the band have made that collective mess of styles work as a great song is testament to their abilities.
The wide variety of their influences and styles across the album gives the listener a constantly shifting spectrum of interesting music. However, there are several tracks that, within themselves, don’t display a similar depth and intelligence. What Makes A Man is a storming, memorable chorus, and well chosen first single, but not really much more than that. ‘Same Ol’ has some fantastic, almost orchestral instrumentation but its repetition leads to an all too obvious, but somewhat deserved, criticism.
On the whole though the stomping fun and catchiness of many of the songs, combined with the huge range of genres on offer are what make this a truly worthwhile and rewarding record.