Review #188: The Heavy – Hurt & The Merciless

 

Artist – The Heavy
Album – Hurt & The Merciless

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/6PlWoMmg7iwVAgUwh5UCgL

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The Heavy are a rock band from Bath, UK. The band formed in 2007 and consist of members Kevin Swaby – vocals, Dan Taylor – guitar, Spencer Page – bass and Chris Ellul – drums. Although prominently citing themselves as a rock band, The Heavy incorporate a large range of funk, soul and hip-hop elements in their music, from the vocal style to the rhythmic patterns. In promotion of this latests record the band are performing at a string of high profile festivals, including Coachella, SXSW and Fuji Rock Festival. Here is The Heavy’s 4th studio album ‘Hurt & The Merciless’.

‘Hurt & The Merciless’ is an energetic and diverse collection of tracks, from the outset keeping a quick pace and incorporating stylistic elements outside of the rock norm. The first few seconds of this album cement its tone by incorporating a powerful brass lead with a rock rhythm section, my initial thought being that this was the intro to a 70s cop show, displaying the effective way its instrumentation provides a soul/funk feel. Vocalist Kevin Swaby’s youthful and dynamic performance, along with an up to date production, reminds me of what Vintage Trouble are doing, but with the blues, both bands taking classic sounds/genres and injecting them with a bit of energy (erratic vocal performances). The majority of this track listing has the same pace, heavy/funky riffs and a driving rhythm section, however two tracks stray ever so slightly. The songs ‘Nobody’s Hero’ and ‘Goodbye Baby’ add a nice breather to the proceedings, far slower in tempo and focusing on love/loss, of which adds some gravity to the songs, producing a far softer/sadder overall sound. I think overall the intro track ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ collates all the components that make up ‘Hurt & The Merciless’, whilst ‘Goodbye Baby’ is the small exception (a nice departure), so I would definitely recommend these two tracks.

‘Hurt & The Merciless’ portrays energy in such an uplifting way it is pretty hard not to enjoy this album. It’s mixture of genres, instruments and harmonies creates this wall of sound which knocks the listener back a few steps pretty much from the first few seconds.

7/10

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