`Amen` is the sixth album from the West Country`s heavy guitar neo soul quartet The Heavy and comes four years after their last release `Sons`. The band who comprise of Kelvin Swaby (vocals), Daniel Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass) and Chris Ellul (drums) remain intact despite lead singer Kelvin moving to the States while the remaining trio reside in the UK, a kind of trans-Atlantic four-piece these days. The album opens with the blistering blues rock of `Hurricane Coming` which was written about frontman Kelvin Swaby being caught up in Hurricane Irma soon after moving to the United States. A cracking r&b / bluesy bruiser of a track and no better way to announce the band`s return. We have a more upbeat up-tempo love ballad in `Ain’t A Love` which has orchestrated strings and is delightfully dreamy with guitar chord riffs sprinkled atop. A song about a previous lover coming through but knowing that what they offer isn`t good for your well-being or soul.
`Bad Muthafucker` has a Glitter band drum beat and `whoo hoo`s` blended throughout this brutal assessment of somebody who isn`t the best mentor in your life. The harmonies throughout are joyful. We have in `I Feel The Love` a number that almost has a religious zeal about it. A kind of gospel-tinged offering with horns and harmonies. A song that`ll convert you to the love that`s on offer.
`Messin’ With My Mind` is a much more straight-out rocker with a swagger and some stunning off kilter guitar riffs and rolling drum tones. A track to just leave your inhibitions behind and get on board with. We head into deep soulful blues territory on the edgy `Just Like Summer` with strings, harmonies and honey dripped vocals that Robert Cray would be proud and envious of.
`Stone Cold Killer` written about guitarist Dan Taylor’s new kitten, a female Burmese about whom he says, “that beautiful thing kills everything.” It`s a thumping pounding R & B rock classic that i`m sure the Stones would kill to have in their set. A rolling drumbeat, and orchestrated strings allows a backdrop for the luscious vocals to take on a kind of Sam Cooke retro soul come rhythm and blues vibe on the mesmerising `Whole Lot Of Me`.
We have a kind of cleansing on `Feels Like Rain` which enjoys a similar appealing vocal delivery with complementing harmonies. A dance floor filler that will ensure some up close and personal time with the one you love. The album closes out with `Without A Woman` a spellbinding soul celebration of women around the world with powerful horns, shimmering rhythmic guitar and drums alongside a stunning wall of compassionate vocals from the gospel choir. An enthralling cut to ease us out on.
`Amen` which translates as an affirmative statement or agreement is the perfect title for this album. It has everything you could want in an album and runs at just under thirty fives minutes so you can almost play it twice in an hour. It`s a joyful and compelling listen and arrives just in time for those long, hot, summer days.
The fellas are over in the UK for a few dates in September so you`ll be able to enjoy some of these tracks in a live situation.
Welcome back The Heavy, i`m sure we`ll all say `Amen ` to that.