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Heavy America – …Now (2017)

posted July 26, 2017, 7:12 am by JasonHillenburg | Filed Under | comment Comments Off on Heavy America – …Now (2017)



Mark Seguin (guitars/vocals/keys), Dan Fried (drums) and Budd Lapham (bass) are the trio known as Heavy America.  These Boston bashers shake up today’s rock world by not adhering to a single thing going on with radio, Internet streams or any other relevant trends, instead opting to brings their rock n’ roll from the gut with a mid-70s scourge of ominous, side-winding riffs and tunes both angry and uplifting.

…Now is a ticked off record in places but it’s also got a lot of melodies and even subtle vocal harmonies going as well (during most songs, all three members join in on the back-ups).  The album’s first half is the stronger side of the two and it builds momentum like a runaway freight train from hell with a broken set of brakes.  “Proud Shame” creeps in slowly, deliberately and gracefully; utilizing clean guitar frequencies, lavish bass work and a locked-on one, two drum beat.  Seguin’s vocals are husky yet firmly in the mid/higher register, bringing a wealth of melody to the table.  Once the main hook is established, the chorus is given liberty to plow into a brick wall of white-knuckle heavy rock axle grinding.  It’s a tactic that works well enough to apply it to the immediately following basher “Bleed Mary,” another song that’s half quaint, catchy folk and half tumbleweed tossing hard rock.  “Pray for Me” focuses on pounding, punk/metal riffs reinterpreted by the blues.  The arrangement is radio friendly but not in the traditional sense, as Heavy America don’t polish away all of the rough edges of their sound.  Tempos cool down on the back-porch, alt-country blues of “Sweet Kisses” where overdriven volumes and jagged pacing are given a refined presentation.  Acting as the bridge between sides “Casting Stones” combines all of the band’s strengths into a monstrous whole.  Featuring an exploratory, elegant verse, it’s not long before the guitars whip into a frenzied, dirge-y riff and the throbbing rhythms throw their weight around like an enraged Sumo wrestler.

Side two of …Now isn’t quite as focused as the first but it’s not a slouch either.  “Goliath” percolates with bubbling, red hot rock riffs that waylay the listener with a near punk rock ethos (the same can also be said of closer “Achilles Fail”) while the roving psychedelic rock n’ country shake-ups of “I Can Take It” and “Heavy Eyes” play with the mind even if they can’t seem to settle on what path to take.

Overall, Heavy America is on the right road with …Now.  The songwriting is 80% there with just the slightest room for improvement; even the weaker tracks stand as good set-pieces or showcases for the band to just simply plug in and jam.  Fans looking to bob their heads to the vibes of the rock n’ roll genre’s glorious past have come to the right place.


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