The Heavy Eyes


Written by: BV on 03/04/2013 10:25:03

Following my recent dabbling with the DJ duties at a local retro-rock gig, I happened to stumble upon The Heavy Eyes. They triggered a vast curiosity within me – one so vast that I felt compelled to go out and buy everything they had released up until that point. Their most recent effort “Maera” came out in December of 2012 and as such, I am terribly sorry for the delay in writing this review – better late than never though, so here goes: The Heavy Eyes is a power-trio from Memphis, Tennessee consisting of Tripp Shumake, Wally Anderson and Eric Garcia, that is deeply influenced by the bluesy spectrum of rock music, as well as the retro-rock trend that has seen a vast rise in the last 5 years or so. The band themselves describe their music as “psychedelic blues rock from the delta that sounds similar to a skeleton driving a speed boat on a flaming Mississippi River headed back to 1969.” – And I must say that I find the description quite fitting.

“Maera” is one of the many new releases that reek to high heaven of retro-rock and the growing trend in this particular field of rock music is an absolute joy for me to experience, as the majority of my music collection consists of old, sleazy vinyl albums by various artists, spanning across a multitude of decades and genres. The point being is that when it comes to retro-rock, I am an absolute sucker for it, when it’s done thoroughly. – Which is exactly the case with The Heavy Eyes and this album in particular. From the first note of the first track “Levantado” the album reels you in with its fuzzy sounds, howling guitars and its overwhelmingly powerful rhythm section. The riff for “Levantado” is very reminiscent of early seventies Led Zeppelin, thus heralding an album of quality riffing and rock n roll attitudes.

With the coming of the three next tracks “One Hand on the Buffalo”, “Maggie” and “These Men Are Wolves” The Heavy Eyes continue their parade of solid, heavy riffing whilst never crossing over to an explicitly stoner or doom like territory, which is kind of nice for a change as this is usually the way it goes with these ‘beefed up’ retro oriented releases. “These Men Are Wolves” is also an interesting track in another sense, as it is a prime example of a psychedelic ‘build-up’ starting out nice and slow whilst slowly working its way towards a mind-expanding and heavy climax – in other words, “These Men Are Wolves” is a powerful dynamic change and a contrast to the majority of tracks that consist of straightforward riffing and roaring vocal work.

The sound of this album is like an unhinged and unabated variant of the ever so used term ‘blues-rock’ where the amps are cranked to eleven and the band is not afraid to occasionally stray from the more bluesy areas, in favor of a heavily psychedelic stoner sound. There is no trace of doubt in my mind, as to whether or not I will revisit this album again as it has drilled its way into my head and, from the looks of it, intends to stay there.


Download: One Hand On the Buffalo, Levantado, These Men Are Wolves
For the fans of: The Flying Eyes, Sgt. Sunshine, Graveyard, Spiders
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.12.2012

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