Album Review: The Heavy - 'The Glorious Dead'

17 August 2012 | 4:17 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Genre hopping at its best.

If you have watched television or a movie at any point in the last two years, you've heard of The Heavy. Their track How You Like Me Now was (over)used in pretty much everything, catapulting this English neo-soul/funk band into some sort of mainstream limelight. To counteract this, The Heavy kept their club shows crazy, attacking their live performance like a punk rock band.

Back with their third record, 'The Glorious Dead,' the group continues to transcend a variety of classic styles complete with a modern edge. Groove is the key, or at least the most enjoyable aspect, of this band. They approach it in a nonchalant way with tracks such as opener 'Can't Play Dead' and 'What Makes A Good Man?' While the aforemetnioned 'groove' is certainly there as one of the main drivers of the style, the rest of the band don't pay it too much attention - which makes it even better.

The horn section was quite reserved on the group’s last record ‘The House That Dirt Built.' However, this time round it's used in a more predominant fashion, especially in tracks like 'Big Bad Wolf'. For some reason, there are always moments on The Heavy's records that have a spaghetti western feel to them. On this album, it's 'Curse Me Good', an acoustic guitar and handclaps track led in with whistling and a bright road song feel.

'Same Ol' is grandiose, using strings to give the chorus sections extra punch, only to be stripped away for the verses. Just as with the western moments, there is the punk rock element as well. 'Just My Luck' takes a gritty Ramones style turn with soft, bouncy breakdowns led by smooth vocals. The record ends with the quirky, percussion led 'The Lonesome Road,' the funk fuelled 'Don’t Say Nothing' and the waltzy, sweet ender 'Blood Dirt Love Stop'.

The Heavy are a truly original band who pack a huge amount of surprise into their records. All is seemingly delivered with an ease that makes the entire listen enjoyable. 'The Glorious Dead' continues the solid catalogue they are building, which ignores the rules and offers nothing but quality.

1. Can't Play Dead
2. Curse Me Good
3. What Makes A Good Man?
4. Big Bad Wolf
5. Be Mine
6. Same Ol'
7. Just My Luck
8. The Lonesome Road
9. Don't Say Nothing
10. Blood Dirt Love Stop