The Sonics, Parliament, Curtis Mayfield
By combining scathing guitars, stomping drums, and red hot vocals, The Heavy live up to their name and more, delivering brash and soulful rock music that not only hearkens back to the early days of funk and R&B, but propels through a modern lo-fi garage rock aesthetic. In their music you can hear the countless influences this English quartet summons simultaneously, all expertly mashed and molded into a sound uniquely theirs.
At the heart of The Heavy is vocalist Kelvin Swaby and guitarist Dan Taylor, friends for decades who bonded over rhythm and blues and Jim Jarmusch. It being the 90′s and all back then, Taylor and Swaby first recorded music with the help of a four track and an Atari, and the gritty flavor they created has guided them to this day. Completing the outfit with bassist Spencer Page and drummer Chris Elull, the Heavy now bring a no holds barred approach to rock and roll.
Their debut album, 2007′s Great Vengeance and Furious Fire, basically spells out their crunching manifesto. But, it’s their sophomore album, 2009′s The House That Dirt Built, that showcases their full abilities. Taking those earlier rowdy rhythms and placing them in a solid, if not entirely polished, framework of soul and blues, the Heavy are storming the walls with their uncompromising sound.
Yet, that’s not even the whole of it. The group also incorporates a delirious range of music, from dub and reggae, to acid jazz and psychedelic, to hip-hop and electronica. Fronted by Swaby’s blazing vocals, reminiscent of the Godfather himself James Brown, and founded on some of the most blistering beats on either side of the pond, there’s nothing off limits for The Heavy, and nothing that they can’t turn into an alarmingly good time.