Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Heavy Glow - The Filth and The Fury”EP

Electronic distortion - to reproduce or amplify (a signal) inaccurately by changing the frequencies or unequally changing the delay or amplitude of the components of the output wave. (The “Filth.”)

Audio feedback - when a sound loop exists between an audio input and an audio output. The frequency of the resulting sound is determined by resonance frequencies in the microphone, amplifier, and loudspeaker, the acoustics of the room, the directional pick-up and emission patterns of the microphone and loudspeaker, and the distance between them. (The “Fury”)

Add the two together and you have The Filth and The Fury.  Use it skillfully and surround it with expert guitar playing, world class rock drums, driving bass, catchy lyrics, and soulful vocals, and you have Heavy Glow’s The Filth and The Fury EP.

Although the EP’s name is the same as a 1999 video rock documentary on the Sex Pistols by Julien Temple, Heavy Glow’s performances are more akin to the 1969 psychedelia of Jimi Hendrix.  Guitarist and vocalist Jared Mullins displays his axe virtuosity like a circus ringmaster. He tames feedback and turns it into melodious waves of sound in much of the same way Hendrix did during his performance of “Can You See Me?” at the Monterey Pop Festival.  He adds various distortions - from Hendrix’s and Clapton’s fuzzboxes to Link Wray’s dislodged amplifier tube sputter.  Mullins’ guitar playing is a master class in tone. Mullins’ vocals fit beautifully and provide an expressive and accessible foundation for the power trio.

Joe Brooks provides the bottom. He thumps and bumps crunch in a way Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer fame would fully appreciate.  Dan Kurtz is a madman.  He is a power drummer, with exacting rhythm, that would have Buddy Miles and Ian Paice on their feet waiving flicked Bic lighters.

Now here’s the kicker.  The EP was cut live in one room over a period of six hours.  Let me say that one more time - the EP was cut live in one room over a period of six hours.  Incredible!

How did they do it?  Well, talent helps - so does the steady hand of guitarist and producer Stevie Salas.  Salas has worked with Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, George Clinton - even Justin Timberlake.  He just seems to know how to get the best out of these boys.

The EP contains five songs - all of them gems.  The most radio ready are "I Almost Prayed" and "Bourgeois Baby" which share a certain drive and complexity that have you up and rockin’.  Then there is "Hot Mess" with a riff that descends directly from Hendrix’s "Manic Depression"  "Love Ghost" does things with feedback and fuzz that make you know the band was reared on a steady diet of hard rock.  To finish the EP Heavy Glow performs "Red July," an early 1970’s power rock ballad of Bootsy Collin-esque bass combined with Clapton’s Cream-era guitar tones, accented by Stewart Copeland-like drumming, over which Mullins croons about “hot summer, red July” with mantra-like repetition.

Don’t know where the band name Heavy Glow came from.  At first I thought it might have originated from the lyrics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song "By The Way."  After listening to the EP I’m not so sure.  It might just be taken from the light at the end of a burning medical marijuana cigarette.  Now, that’s more like Heavy Glow.

- Old School

Buy here mp3: The Filth & The Fury [Explicit]

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