Tuesday, May 7, 2013

... THE HEAVY EYES "Maera" (Album review)

With a number of Bandcamp-demos under their belt, in part recorded live on occasion, Tennessee's The Heavy Eyes succeed their two-track teaser (consisting of the flamboyant opener "Levantado" and the hook-laden "Lately") to "Maera" with the actual album, a display of old Rock values between the musicians' common garage and a small club stinking of cigarette smoke and sweat.

"Mind" with its positively dragging Bonzo-beat is probably the strongest reference to seventies Rock, but mind you: There's not really anything contemporary about the music of The Heavy Eyes, the more so if they get into a bluesy mode like in "Parado". The catchy "Goodnight" harks back to call-and-response principles between singer and instrumentalists before the chorus kicks in, and "The Times" makes you think about a dirty version of Lenny Kravitz, which might well apply as a general description for the group.

On the other hand, "Abbé Faria" calls to mind upstarts such as Rival Sons or Witchcraft, the forerunners of "vintage", in particular due to frontman Tripp's moaning vocals. A more refined vocal delivery as in "One Hand On The Buffalo" is something the band should consider for future songs, thoug, since it makes them more distinguishable from similar bands of their stripe, and originality is what they seriously lack. Apart from this smaller or bigger letdown (depending on what you expect from your music), "Aplomado", a repetitive exercise in relaxation for about ten minutes, is the only dispensable track on "Maera", although one could argue it serves as alonger outro to an overall solid to enthusing sonic retrospective on allegedly glorious times.

words by Andreas Schiffmann


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