The Heavy
The House That Dirt Built


3.5
great

Review

by Jonathan Langer USER (5 Reviews)
November 29th, 2009 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "How you like me now?", Kelvin Swaby asks his listeners. The answer: A lot!

Remember the first time you heard “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley? It had a monster hook, was instantly catchy, and came out of leftfield, musically speaking. Not necessarily a mainstream artist (at least collectively, since Cee-Lo and Danger were both known individually), so it felt like a real find, the proverbial diamond in the rough. Coincidentally, The Heavy has a little bit of a Gnarls Barkley feel to it; not because of the lineup, as this is no hipster super band, but because of the soul of the project. In some fantasy cut-away, I can imagine The Heavy starting a “funk n’ roll” revolution, where bands with names like “Mocha Sunshine” or “The Badness” rule the roost in the up-and-coming artist racks at your local music stores.

This is saying a lot, since the last time The Heavy made an album, it relied much more on sampling and hip-hop elements. After that record, the British band opted to go with the full band approach, and more original than borrowed. The result is an album of ten grooves, each a little different than the other ranging from punk, funk and old fashioned R&B. And these ten songs fly by fast, despite the record being a decent 35+ minutes, you’ll want more when it’s done.

The obligatory old-ass sounding audio clip starts off the album, warning you not to go into the spooky house. Fair enough, it sets the tone for an old school kind of romp, and also follows along with the band’s ominous imagery such as their trademark skull and dark colors. Then the first song “Oh No! Not You Again!” discharges out the end of the clip in a Stooges-like explosion of guitars and drums. Safe to say this is probably the dullest (in comparison) track on the entire record, and also one of the shortest, giving way to one of the band’s hot singles, “How You Like Me Now?” Now we begin to see the tonal lengths we can expect from The Heavy. The ghost of James Brown has clearly descended upon Kelvin Swaby, as over a wall of horns and a thick bassline he warbles on the chorus, “How you like me na?” with a ferocious swagger.

It would be a trap for most bands to extend this type of song throughout the rest of the album. A couple more audio clips, maybe a skit, and a lot more funk, then call it a day. But The Heavy spread out their talent with pervasive variety. ”Sixteen” drips with oldies charm and an “I Put A Spell On You” opening. ”Short Change Hero” morphs a neo-spaghetti western theme into a soulful, melancholy mo-town tune before combining both themes in the end. ”No Time” is gritty 70’s rock, which, if you squint your ears, almost sounds like Hendrix in its finer moments. So it goes, sounds as diverse as reggae and Brit-invasion pop rock weave their way into the album, with the sole uniter of each of the songs being a sharp sense of musical accomplishment and excellent songwriting.

If there’s any complaints to made, it’s length, as it’s over much too fast. But erring on the side of caution is much better than wearing out one’s early welcome with a newer band like this, and from the sound of things, The Heavy’s gonna be around for a while.


user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009


8387 Comments


slow down there champ! Around here, we have an unwritten rule of 1 review per day.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009


2690 Comments


He's just some dude from some other site porting his reviews over.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009


8387 Comments


and? haha

Ponton
Emeritus
November 29th 2009


5816 Comments


Styles, are you questioning Jom?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009


8387 Comments


wouldn't call it questioning. Just curious :-)

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2009


10545 Comments


i started doing that, and then realized if you want people to care you should space them out

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Ponton
Emeritus
November 29th 2009


5816 Comments


I guess Jom was just referring to how this user isn't plagiarizing as is often the case if many reviews are posted in a row.

Oh it's cool, I gotcha Styles.

jonnymilba
November 29th 2009


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, i was writing for another site until the editor decided he wasn't going to continue seriously with it.

i'll slow down the posting, though, since i'm a noob, and to keep people happy. ;)

espn829
March 26th 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really liked this cd, when the drums kick in on "how you like me now" just makes my head bob. Really like the ending track "stuck" also



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