Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer
One of my most favourite things in life is discovering a band I haven’t heard of before that I instantly fall in love with. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy and at times like this when we are all struggling with what is happening to our world, it is even more relevant.
I recently had a press release land in my inbox announcing a new single and an upcoming album from a band from Memphis, The Heavy Eyes. As soon as I clicked the link to their new track, I was well and truly hooked. These guys make music that is so gosh darn tasty I am struggling to put into words just how good they are. Perhaps to give you some idea to begin with, I shall refer to their description of their sound as they so eloquently put it on their Facebook page: “Psychedelic Blues Rock from the Delta that sounds similar to a skeleton driving a speedboat on a flaming Mississippi River headed back to 1969.” That is one heck of a description, couldn’t have said it better myself guys!
I only wish I had discovered this band sooner.
This talented quartet of musicians are all about the Fuzz, Blues, Stoner, Psych Rock and they deliver it in a seemingly effortless manner. It’s as though it just flows from their veins and hearts out into the world. The Heavy Eyes are: Tripp Shumake – vocals/guitar, Wally Anderson – bass, Eric Garcia – drums and the recently added Matt Qualls also on guitar. Qualls has recorded, mixed and mastered every album the band has released so far so was already an honorary fourth member as it was. His addition to the band, giving another layer to the guitar sound that only adds to the magic of The Heavy Eyes music.
‘Love Like Machines’ is out today (27/03/2020) via Kozmik Artifactz and is the first new material to be released from the band in over five years. The timing couldn’t be any more perfect. What the world needs right now is new music to keep our spirits high. ‘Love Like Machines’ is album number four for the band after the previously released self titled debut in 2011, ‘Maera’ in 2012 and ‘He Dreams Of Lions’ in 2015.
The album opens with Anabasis. The song begins gently; you can hear the gentleness in which the guitar strings are being played, an intimate moment with the instrument. Delicately delivered vocals accompany the guitar as it slowly builds into the crescendo “Hope for the hopeless…” the first lyric to grab me. We all need hope right now. This album delivers that for me in spades. The track goes back to its soft beginning before it comes to an end.
Jumping straight into a much more fast paced second track, Made for the Age. Kicking off with tasty riffs and flowing into yet more relatable and brilliantly written lyrics; “Batten down the hatches baby, this battle is about to be, the greatest fight of the 21st century, now I might lose my mind, go too far this time…”
The heavy bass lines in Hand Of Bear grab me straight up, I am a big fan of a song that kicks off with a good bass line. This track actually reminds me of a Brisbane band I adore, Ellis Dewald. In fact, I am calling it now. If The Heavy Eyes ever grace our shores, I would love to see the Ellis guys on support. Ugh, I am hanging for some live music! But back to this golden album, the next track, Late Night reminds me of the Arctic Monkeys, this song is gosh darn sexy as hell. This is a stand out for me from the album. Whenever I listen to this particular track I play it again as soon as it finishes, I can’t get enough of it. Late Night rolls straight into their latest single, God Damn Wolf Man. This was my first taste of the band. There’s a Queens Of The Stone Age/ Arctic Monkeys feel again here. It’s a killer track.
Bright Light is next, oh man, this is another stand out track for me. I love this sound so much, which funnily enough is a lyric in this track “She says she loves the sound…” Guys. I do. I really, really do.
The Heavy Eyes seem to mix some old school heavy Fuzz Blues Rock sound with more modern bands of a similar genre and blend it all into their own sound which flows out of this album like an overflowing glass of straight whisky of the highest quality. It is so good it burns all the way down your throat but you keep drinking because you can’t get enough of the taste and the feeling it gives you once it begins to flow through your bloodstream.
A Cat Named Haku. This track is something else. Just when I thought the album couldn’t possibly get any better, oh my heart! This reminds me of some early Tumbleweed, it takes me back to my teen years. Listening to this track, closing my eyes and drifting off to a much easier time in my life, a Saturday morning Rage session with all my favourite bands on my TV. Bliss.
The Profession. All the grunt and heavy riffage right here. This is Clutch like. This track packs a serious punch. Shumake’s vocals on this track make me swoon a little, not gonna lie! Just delicious. Vera Cruz; I can hear tones of Queens Of The Stone Age here, 100%. Think Dessert Sessions.
The album wraps up with Idle Hands. This track is like all the above mentioned influences rolled into one. The riffs, the bass lines, the steady drumming, the sexy vocals, the big drawn out ending that fades off into the distance. And the Fuzz. All Of the Fuzz.
The songs on this album flow to perfection. The first track is the perfect opener, the last track is the perfect ending. Except for me, it doesn’t end. Because as soon as it does, I play it again. And again.
It’s scary to think that the band was on hiatus in 2017 and that this album may not have even been made. With each band member living in a different state and a whole lot of things going on in their separate lives, I am so glad that by 2019 they decided to keep it going. And thus, ‘Love Like Machines’ was born.
The Heavy Eyes – ‘Love Like Machines’: for lovers of Fuzz, Blues, Psych and Rock. Sounds like Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Tumbleweed, Ellis Dewald, The Ugly Kings, Clutch.
‘Love Like Machines’ is out now via Kozmik Artifactz – listen/stream/purchase HERE
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With thanks to Footstomp PR