Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 3/25/2003
posted on 4/2003 By:
Hailing from that hotbed of metal, Rockford, IL, Metal Blade's new act The Heavils bring an interesting blend of music to the table. Mixing together punk, funk, metal, but mostly rock & roll, they've got a unique sound that could appeal to a wide range of people. One listen will alert the listener that something just doesn't sound right with those guitars. As it turns out, that's because The Heavils don't use typical guitars. Vox/guitarist Brian Carter builds all his guitars out of whatever wacky materials are available. Called meanies, (check them out at http://www.theheavils.com/meanies.htm), Carter slaps strings and pickups onto such random objects as motorcycle handlebars, a big metal tube, and my favorite - a wooden toilet seat. Naturally, these meanies don't quite sound like conventional stringed instruments, and give the band a unique angle. The production sounds fuzzy, but this may be due to the odd guitars being used, but I think many of the guitars are basically bass-guitar hybrids, so the sound is generally low and punchy. Carter's vocals are varied, at times sounding like Wayne of Static-X, at other times, a little like Danzig, but mostly alternating between gruff and higher-pitched crooning that wouldn't be out of place 10 years ago. The musicianship is competent, with strong bass work standing out. With MetalReview obviously being a metal site, I'll hit on a few of the heavier songs here. Opener Colorblind evokes some of the heavier radio rock of today with verses sung over funky bass lines and guitar effects, while the chorus brings the punch. Still Awake blends cool, Primus-like bass parts with speedier heavy chords. Don't Be Afraid speeds it up for a bit before breaking into a sludgy Down-like interlude; one of the best songs on here. While the best song, Another Way, rocks hard with Carter spitting venom over pounding guitars and drumming. On the other hand, there's a good amount of filler to be had, particularly the last track Kadigimonk, which is 17 minutes of weirdness. Other songs like Picking up the Pieces and Pickle Jar (which, to its credit, has a nice solo) should've gotten the axe. More discerning ears might find The Heavils a bit too nu-metallish, not necessarily in the rap-rock way but more like how White Zombie, Godsmack and Mudvayne do it. The Heavils have produced a record that isn't amazingly profound, but it is a fun change of pace from my usual platter of death and thrash. It brings me back a few years to my younger days but still keeps me interested today. It's worth a listen if for nothing more than hearing how those cool-as-hell guitars sound.
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