Jun 28, 2011
Heavy Glow – Midnight Moan ...
Problem number one; The production sounds seriously flat on this release and the vocals seem to be mixed way too loud and that brings me to problem number two. The vocals of Jared Mullin are frustrating to listen to, on the one hand Mullin has an incredible range and power but on this album he tends to sing every song in the same range which seems to be a pure waste of his talent. There is also the lyrics and melodies that also bring about monotony. Some songs especially in 'All My Money' the chorus is repeated over and over again and it is all done in the same, bland vocal range with no emotional dynamics at all.
Problem number three is more of a personal thing but I feel the modernized guitar-sound doesn't suit the bluesy style they are presenting, it just isn't the right blend to me so I am constantly thinking, this would be much better if it sounded more organic and vintage. Anyway these issues are up for debate and I can see people typing away furiously right now because I am sure many folks wont agree with me but there you go, my 2 cents worth.
Now the good news, this album has a few great psychedelic hooks to draw you in. Opening track 'Lose My Mind' is a short, heavy psych stomper with great riffage and it is really the only time on the album where the vocals seem to have some emotional depth to them. The following 'Slave Dance' is even better, it is a slower, groove-based track with incredible hooks and great guitar work especially the screaming solo. Sadly these are the best two tracks on the album as the rest of the disc doesn't have anything that rises to the same standards except for just one track and you have to wait till the final cut before you can hear that one. 'Today Is Technicolor (One Step Closer)' is a trippy kind of track but very commercial-sounding and a little banal, sorry but I call it as I hear it. 'All My Money' is the most infectious track on the album at first but is ruined by the repeating chorus that I talked about earlier. 'Collide' is more up-tempo but still very much within the psychedelic blues frame-work. This track is decent and a lot of fun - certainly one of the better tracks on the album.
The southern rock vibe really pops up in the next tune, 'Purgatory Blues' but it comes and goes in just 3 minutes of pretty forgettable southern twang. 'Smithereen' is an acoustic track where they rely on the vocals to drive the song, big mistake in my opinion and that fades into a short instrumental track, 'Midwestern Lullaby' which is pleasant enough and that is all I can say on that. The album then ends on 'Diggin’ a Ditch' which gets the album well and truly back on track with a semi-epic powerhouse heavy-riff driven track full of attitude and power. If the whole album was as good as this track and the opening two tunes, this album would right up there with the best albums of the year and that is even with the average production.
Again, I set my expectations too high with this album and expected way too much from this talented band. It is mostly my fault and I gladly admit that but when I heard the 'The Filth and the Fury' EP, I genuinely thought this band would come up with something truly monumental and I think they failed in more ways than one. It is still way above average in the musicianship department but with only 3 great tracks, 2 decent ones and 4 instantly forgettable numbers, the score-card isn't looking too great. I strongly recommend though you head to their Bandcamp page and check them out yourself, I mean what the hell do I know anyway but I can't rate this any higher than a 5/10 and even that is me being generous........
Heavy Glow @ Bandcamp
Tags: Heavy Glow