In the early 1960s, it was the English musician importing the raw sounds of American Blues and Jazz into their rainy sensibilities and pumping out what we now know as rock and roll music. Structured and styled upon the simplicity of backwater guitar work and simple gospel melody, this foundation has remained more intact than not for the better part of 60 years and is the bed rock for countless rock and soul recordings.
This ethos has led to more imitation than innovation in the world of rock music and The Heavy‘s sound, albeit a breath of fresh air in the context of today’s EDM bum rush, falls on the far side of the former end of the spectrum. The neo-soul/rock revivalist genre requires strict guide lines to even be cast in the same breath as Curtis Mayfield or James Brown and they are as follows: Your band has to funk harder than Peter North, and be tighter than Russel Brand’s evening wear. Anything less is unacceptable.
Unfortunately for The Heavy, their funk is more vanilla than chocolate and is banking more on the notion that “The Black Keys are doing it so….why can’t we?”. The other factor that isn’t selling me on their brand are Kevin Swaby’s vocals. To be a front man in a band that’s going for this sound is a daunting task at best, but there is simply not enough authenticity present to award them the hype they’ve been receiving.
To be fair, as mentioned before, their sound is refreshing amidst the swarm of copy cat electro pop, and with the right producer at the helm, who knows? They just might have the genuine article hidden somewhere in there.