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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Heavy America - ...Now (2017)

Written by Frank McClure, posted by blog admin

Sterile rock and roll is the order of the day on the big corporate radio stations and even internet broadcasts with stagnant artists from Nickelback and even Papa Roach still pumping out and selling large amounts of albums.  Even the more raw genres like metal and punk are stuck in third gear with an overload of quantity and a sparse supply of quality representing the bulk of the ratio.  To the rescue comes the heavy, weathered knuckle-dusted hard-rock of Heavy America.  This Boston bred three-piece knows how to drop heady, thinking man’s riff bombs with a surplus of heft and just enough smarts to pull the wool over the competition’s eyes.

With a recording job that’s in the red and sounds like it was cut straight to tape without digital tampering, …Now, the lengthiest platter in Heavy America’s discography sounds positively throwback but current as well.  There is no shortage of nail-biting, twisted riffing and attack ready rhythm work throughout the record’s 9-song arc.  The music has a noisy yet melodic quality; harrowing and soothing at the same time as so deftly illustrated by multiple personality rockers like “Proud Shame,” “Bleed Mary,” “Casting Stones” and “I Can Take It.”  Wandering in and out of workingman’s power blues riffs and diamond sharp tunefulness; these jams are easy on the ears but unafraid of applying raging rapid rock grooves in all of the right places.  The vocals soar and snarl as the rhythm section provides plenty of backbone for the snapback with thanks due to the punchy drumming and hypnotic low end clarity.  Other tracks go for ground quaking, earth-shaking rock flair unhindered by syrupy balladry, the pummeling trifecta of sun burnt blues-riffers “Pray for Me,” “Goliath” and “Achilles Fail” holding court with an iron gavel.  A smoldering, dying camp pyre of somber, somewhat acoustic-leaned folk/blues makes “Heavy Eyes” a proper respite from all of the giant killing rock, even if they never fully unplug their instruments for a full Bob Dylan style mellow out.  Only the slight misdirection of “Sweet Kisses” fails to find firm footing in the track-listing, even if it’s not an outright bad track in its own right. 

…Now feels urgent and comfortable in its dogged ways.  It refuses to let the flame of soulful hard rock die out while adding some new flavors to the well-worn genre in terms of musical diversity.  For that, Heavy America is surely a band to watch in a very crowded scene. 

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