Friday, April 13, 2012

Heavy Glow: Midnight Moan (2011)

Old School

Heavy Glow is a California stoner/garage/blues-rock band who contacted me about their first full-length album, Midnight Moan. I don't often listen to new rock music--I obviously tend toward metal and old rock--but given my enthusiasm for bands such as Graveyard, you can tell I like rock bands that succesfully capture an old-school vibe.

Heavy Glow does just that. In a lot of ways they sound like a proto-metal band, playing bluesy and psychedelic parts. They also have a very fuzzed-out sound on the guitar, and incorporate electric organ to great effect.

The songs have catchy riffs and clean-sung choruses. Vocal hooks are standard in each of their songs, including a nice falsetto touch on "Today Is Technicolor (One Step Closer)." Some tracks are heavy and, at times, border on doom metal (see "Purgatory Blues"). The more times I listened to it, the more I picked up a distinct early Stone Temple Pilots vibe (especially "Slave Dance" and the acoustic "Smithereen"). That observation made even more sense later, when I found out they had recorded their debut EP at Velvet Revolver's studio.

Does it offer anything new? No, and it doesn't attempt to. But it updates a classic sound with much better (and still analog-sounding) production.

The Verdict: Heavy Glow gives us a fresh version of a nostalgic sound, much like discovering an obscure gem from 1972. And the songs are extremely catchy. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Download their first EP free off Bandcamp.

Go to iTunes to buy Midnight Moan.

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