Sound — 7
It is probably no surprise that Playboy magazine is a big supporter of The Heavy's debut full-length album Great Vengeance And Furious Fire, abundant with raunchy stylized blues rock and neck deep in bedroom-eyes vocal swoons made by lead singer Kelvin Swaby. Tracks like Coleen and That Kind Of Man preen with sexually arousing innuendos that reek of '70s soul rock liken to Rose Royce and Robert Cray. There is a touch of Lenny Kravitz's reclining smooth soul funk on Doing Fine entailing laid back vocal drools and outlines of softly tapping tambourines, while the crude gritty blues rock vibrations of Dignity recall of the funky swags of Ike and Tina Turner's musical collaborations. The countrified strokes of Our Special Place and Set Me Free provide a comfortable vestment for Swaby's softly paced vocal swells, which bring out his British-tinged accent on Girl before bouncing around like a jellybean soaked in jalapeno sauce on In The Morning. This is stuff you would have caught Jimi Hendrix playing in the day. The jazz-rock psychedelics of Brukpocket's Lament have the bluesy flux of Muddy Waters seeping from Dan Taylor's guitar chords with lounging sonic strolls perpetrated by keyboardist/backup vocalist Hannah Collins and a surge of retro rock in the rhythm section played by bassist Spencer Page and drummer Chris Ellul that is reflective of their labelmate Pop Levi. The most modern sounding track Who Needs The Sunshine is pot-mark with smooth soul regalia as Swaby sustains his vocal peak while smearing his notes across the melodic bedding with a slick greasy slide.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics weigh heavily in the lust/libido department with phrases like You made a man out of me from Set Me Free, and in Girl when Swaby drools over, Girl, I've got these pictures in my head/ Of the two of us lying in a bed/ Somewhere in Greece and you're so wet. If you had to come up with artists who most show reflections of Jimi Hendrix's and The Doors libido-driven lyrical prose, The Heavy would certainly be in your Top 5. Either that or the lyrics would be your Top 5 most used pick-up lines heard by guys in a bar.
Overall Impression — 7
The Heavy have found a niche for themselves that fits perfectly with their blues rock coordinates. The songs have commercial value as a backdrop for testosterone motivated visuals, which you could imagine the Playboy company finds significant value in using. The Heavy's song That Kind Of Man can be heard being played in episode 9 of Showtime's TV series Californication when actor David Duchovny's character is test-driving a Porsche. The visual of man with sports car fits right in with The Heavy's subject matter, testosterone and adrenaline coming together. The Heavy are from the outskirts of Bath, England and bonded together over their affection for vintage R&B music, and in the case of Taylor and Swaby, they additionally have a shared appreciation for Jim Jarmusch films. The Heavy really plunges into the past on this album and they seem resistant to leave it.