vrijdag 25 maart 2016

Hurt & The Merciless. The Heavy

Every once an album is let loose in the cd player that surprises. The description did not really entice me. The cover is horrendous. A chance is easily given, as nothing is as easy as taking a cd out of the tray again when an album disagrees with me. The mix of soul and rock that jumped out of my speakers sounded like I could take another song and another and this way the end of the album was reached, again and again.

'Since You've Been Gone' is the sort of song that seems a balled form of energy, caught in the guise of music. The Heavy goes all out with the funky guitars, horns, organs and a rough sounding singer who gets some vocal support here and there. From the very start the song just blasts away, like a Formula 1 poll position car.

The Heavy is from Bath in the U.K. The town with a Circus, with acorns on roofs there and is releasing its fourth album. To my surprise I've found its second album, 'The House That Jack Built' (2009) in my collection, which I have no recollection of at all. Too much music is not good for establishing a relationship with albums and songs. With Hurt & The Merciless things are different as I've played this album multiple times already.

The rough voice of singer Kelvin Swaby carries most of the songs as it draws The Heavy into an interesting mix of soul and rock that is not so much unique as extremely powerful. Dan Taylor's guitar give the music a funky glow, the rhythm section, Spencer Page (bass guitar) and Chris Ellul (drums), gives The Heavy its force and depth. Around the band a wall of sound is built that moves the music into Rhythm & Blues of the Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, if we skip Otis' ballads, variety. Add to that some touches of Lenny Kravitz and it is possible to get a complete picture of what The Heavy stands for. A band that can kick up a musical storm and tone down without losing credibility in any way.

Hurt & The Merciless does have a few dips, e.g. 'Miss California' is not my favourite, although the chorus has a touch of melancholy that makes up a little. They are excusable as a funky track like 'Turn Up' takes over and it's not hard to imagine Wilson Pickett singing this song. The horns and backing vocals lift the song up even more. Great fun.

The album cover is extremely ugly, but then not all can be pretty in life. There would be no comparison. It suggests something of a comic strip album and The Heavy is all but comical or a comic. Larger than life? Okay, I'll settle for that.

In short, I haven't had so much fun with a soul album since the soundtrack of 'The Commitments'. The Heavy can take that as a compliment.


You can listen to 'Since You've Been Gone' here:


or buy on Bol.com

1 opmerking:

  1. @theheavy sent a response on Twitter: "We just read your review. Do your ears and eyes work properly?" to which I answered that usually I can't complain. I'm sticking to the above.