Well, what can I say. It’s one of those moments in life where your jaw drops to the ground and you have to pull over because you can’t believe what’s coming out those crappy car audio speakers. You try to comprehend what just happened and you inevitably get the feeling that this could have a profound impact on your life. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here, but the truth of the matter is: The Heavy Eyes and their two records ‘Heavy Eyes’ and ‘Maera’ have quickly climbed all the way to the top of my favorite albums.
It’s very hard for me to pin-point what makes The Heavy Eyes so special, and in a way even unique. While there is – at least to me – a fairly obvious resemblance to some of the classic and progressive hard rock acts to the 60’ and 70’s, it would be difficult for me to say: “they sound like xyz”. And because of that, why don’t we just take a look at how the band describe it in their own words on their facebook page: “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.” Bingo! That’s EXACTLY it!
I remember when I listened to ‘Heavy Eyes’ a few weeks ago for the first time. You know, usually when you listen to an album, there are tracks that stand out which end up being your favorites. But as far as this record is concerned, it’s impossible for me to name any specific numbers that I like more than the others. From the first track (“5%”) on to the last (“Wolf Tickets”) they’re at full speed and it just doesn’t slow down. There are no dips or breaks, God only knows how they did it, but it just keeps going. Absolutely amazing. The same is true for ‘Maera’ which is a seamless continuation of the first album I listened to.
Playing the guitar is a blessing and a curse. Of course, making and listening to music has become one of the most important things in my life. However, I can’t help but I also constantly have to analyze anything I hear. Therefore, I almost ‘automatically’ scrutinize over both the musicianship and sound of other guitarist. Well, let me tell you this: listening to Tripp Shumake makes me want to drop whatever I’m doing in that very moment and just pick up my guitar and play. I guess that’s what more eloquent people would call “inspiring”. He just knows how to combine right sound (got to love that Orange Amp Head!) with plenty of crisp leads and earthy riffs, just like the early Iommi, Clapton, West, Page, Akkerman, etc., the guys who are ultimately the reason why I started playing the guitar in the first place.
But a band is only as good as its weakest link. In ‘The Heavy Eyes’, though, there aren’t any weak links. Eric Garcia pounds and pops those drums like there’s no tomorrow. He reminds me a little bit of John Bonham and Bill Ward – Bonham’s power drumming and Ward’s rather percussive approach of supporting the guitarist. Bassist Wally Anderson keeps the whole thing tight and together by contributing both, a rock solid foundation and a good portion of playful accents. They sound like unit, they know exactly what they’re doing and boy do they deliver – big time!
So, enough said: go get your hands on both ‘Heavy Eyes’ and ‘Maera’, you won’t regret it, I can guarantee you that. As far as I am concerned, they are the ‘new’ Super-Group and Power-Trio. Here are a couple of links to learn more about the ‘The Heavy Eyes’ including upcoming performances and merchandise.