Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Heavy: "The Glorious Dead" (album review)

Have you ever wonder what Motown would sound like nowadays if they hadn't been ruined by flimsy, commercialized pop in the early '80s? Well that may very well be the sound of UK soul rockers The Heavy.  The group return on August 21st with The Glorious Dead, their third full length album.

The album kicks off with "Can't Play Dead", and intense and gritty number that sets the tone for what's to come.  "What Makes a Good Man" is a forceful rock number with compelling gospel backing vocals.  It hits it's visceral apex with the epic '70s-era funk-infused "Don't Say Nothing".

On a handful of occasions The Heavy allow you to glimpse their softer side.  Those songs, "Be Mine" and "Blood Dirt Love Stop", are smooth appeals to love that serve as palate cleansers for the relentless drive of the record.

The album standout is "Same Ol'".  An orchestral flourish in the chorus helps to create a lofty and imposing soul tour de force.  Taking a further detour is "Lonesome Road", a dark loping cut that let's you know what Tom Waits would sound like if he played soul music.

The Heavy are a force to be reckoned with, and The Glorious Dead reinforces that.  It's the perfect companion to your Raphael Saadiq albums.

The Heavy play Lee's Palace in Toronto on September 23rd.

Best tracks: "Curse Me Good", "Same Ol'"

Track listing for The Glorious Dead:
  • Can't Play Dead
  • Curse Me Good
  • What Makes a Good Man
  • The Big Bad Wolf
  • Be Mine
  • Same Ol'
  • Just My Luck
  • Lonesome Road
  • Don't Say Nothing
  • Blood Dirt Love Stop

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