Forget about knowing what year it is, Heavy Glow aren’t even sure what decade it is. With a sound that predates the filth and the fury of the punk revolution by some years, this is a glorious, wonderfully produced, Hendrix-infused, psychedelic blast of blues-rock and it sounds amazing.
Referencing elements of the stoner rock movement spearheaded by Sleep and Kyuss, Heavy glow have as much in common with them as they do with Led zeppelin, Hendrix and Pink Floyd while vocalist/guitarist Jared Mullins has a suitably soulful voice with just the right amount of grit for the heavier passages, while his guitar playing is utterly sublime – fluid yet with a crunch that shows he can rock when the urge takes him. Of course Heavy glow is about more than just Jared and he is ably backed by the crushing rhythm section of Joe Brooks and Dan Kurtz who provide a bruising backdrop for Jared’s wayward excursions upon the fret-board.
Opening track ‘I almost prayed’ is the perfect starting point. At five minutes it offers plenty of room for sonic exploration and the band take maximum advantage to let solo after solo rip across the heavy blues backdrop. It’s a wonderful song that’s full of smoke infused joy at being able to rock out. Second track ‘love ghost’ sits somewhere between Hendrix and Jeff Buckley at his most soulful, although the pay-off is a massive guitar riff leading into some brilliant, Neil Young-esque guitar work, and you can’t quite figure out how a three piece have managed to sound so huge. That question mark also hangs over ‘hot mess’, a gloriously retro track with sublime vocals and a hot, overdriven guitar sound that once again summons the ghost of Hendrix before sending him back to the grave with a stunning solo that soars over the bass-heavy rhythm section before the band return to the distressingly memorable chorus, the type of which you’ll be hard pressed not to sing in the shower much to the annoyance of your flat mates. With a final solo, the track draws to its conclusion, although in truth it’s the sort of song that you’d be happy to see extended to fifteen minutes in length such is the quality of what’s on offer.
With ‘hot mess’ proving to be a stunning highlight, the band do the sensible thing and up the tempo on ‘bourgeois baby’, a track which is titled like a Manic Street preachers b-side but which sounds not unlike mad season fronted by Scott Weiland at his most bluesy thanks to a dirty groove that has a vintage alt-rock feel to it. Final track ‘red July’ rounds out one of the finest EPs I’ve heard all year with a dark bass sound and a scintillating, funky guitar part all overtopped with Jared’s excellent voice. All of this is made more remarkable, particularly in these days of digital perfection, when you learn that this perfectly recorded disc took a mere six hours to record which suggests that the band have a chemistry that verges on the miraculous and a tightness born of hours playing together finding their magical sound. If you like real, beautifully played and composed music with one foot rooted firmly in the past then you’ll find Heavy Glow to be one of the best purchases you’ll ever make. A simply wonderful EP that has to be heard, this is a fine, fine release. Highly recommended.