The Heavils


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If Primus were more enamored of Steve Albini's '80s noise-rock demigods Big Black than late-era Frank Zappa, or if Sonic Youth had been inspired by Cheap Trick instead of Glenn Branca, they would possibly sound a little like Rockford, Illinois' otherwise unique Heavils. Instead of normal guitars, leaders Mossy Vaughn and Brian Carter play what they call "Meanies," homemade fretless instruments made out of everyday household items like lamps and toilets, outfitted with guitar and bass strings and played with the hands or whatever other implements are lying about. It all sounds impossibly pretentious, but the whiplash beats of a hardcore-savvy rhythm section and the duo's punk-pop-metal songwriting smarts help a lot, as does Steve Albini's typically live-sounding, un-processed production. Carter tends towards the typical Muppet-sounding growled vocals of post-Danzig black metal, which adds to the air of (probably intentional) silliness that prevails throughout this entertaining debut.

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