The Heavy's third studio album, 2012's The Glorious Dead is a bombastic acid rock, funk, and blues-soaked album that sounds like the illegitimate offspring of the Black Keys and Gnarls Barkley. In that sense, it builds nicely upon the Heavy's previous work and should please fans of the band's quirky take on rootsy soul-influenced music. Showcasing singer Kelvin Swaby's trademark rough, nasally yawp, the Heavy seem to love building songs around riffs of low-end electric guitar twang, booming basslines, and wickedly boneheaded, backwoods drumbeats. They also punctuate these sweaty, red-eyed arrangements with bursts of trombones, trumpets, strings, and backing vocals. The band kicks things off with the horror movie-inspired zombie-gospel number "Can't Play Dead," featuring Swaby doing his best swamp blues-style shout over a fuzzed-out electric guitar riff and plodding blues-rock beat backed by what sounds like a choir of female divas. It's a grand moment of over the top rock that perfectly sets the tone for such similarly exuberant and soulfully campy moments as the marching band funk of "Big Bad Wolf" and the driving, James Bond theme-sounding "Don't Say Nothing." Elsewhere, the Heavy delve into various punk, dance, and blues-influenced sounds including the manic garage rock meets mariachi band anthem "Just My Luck" and "What Makes a Good Man?," which splits the difference between the retro hip-hop soul of Kanye West's "Gold Digger" and "Discothèque"-era U2.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar