The Glorious Dead.

The Heavy

Counter Records/Ninja Tune, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I feel that over here in the States when we think of English rock bands, we're inevitably resigned to imagining some second rate version of Oasis or Radiohead. It seems warranted; I mean, I think we can all name several bands that more or less emulate those legends. Well, England's The Heavy is certainly not falling anywhere near those sounds, as they choose to flirt with ideas as varied as garage rock, rap, R&B, blues, and even funk. Their third album, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Glorious Dead., dropped at the end of the summer and further solidified The Heavy as one of the most interesting bands across the pond (despite being voted the worst band at SXSW in 2008).

This is an album that often sounds like a compilation. The Heavy uses diversity, one of their greatest strengths, to their advantage. Songs like “The Lonesome Road” are blues and folk spirited, while the track before it, “Just My Luck,” uses horns with open arms. “Curse Me Good,” early on in the listen, points toward Americana influences, though the disc closes on “Blood Dirt Love Stop,” which has an oldies feel. The band certainly knows their way around a loud rock tune: disc highlights “Can't Play Dead” and “Just My Luck” are high energy jams as frontman Kevin Swaby injects his soulful, gritty voice on top.

There is literally something for everyone on this disc. The Heavy draws from so many different sounds here, it's really a genre defying effort. Seeing as how the band have been soundtracking a string of American TV shows as well as politician's campaigns, the idea of their brand of blues, punk, rock, dance, and mariachi being universally embraced seems to have been picked up on. Hell, David Letterman even called for an encore when the band played his show – now that's a serious compliment.

Rating: B

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© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Counter Records/Ninja Tune, and is used for informational purposes only.