Because the Brits are so effective at tweaking American musical innovations and selling them back, it was only a matter of time before a UK version of the Gnarls Barkley model appeared on the market here. It’s in the form of an album by former Alpha mates Kelvin Swaby and Corin Dingley and their Bath buds, who call themselves the Heavy.
Great Vengeance And Furious Fire is an old-school soul studio concoction centred around Swaby’s captivating falsetto rasp and Dingley’s crushing drum thump retrofitted to a Superfly backdrop complete with all the 70s psych-funk signifyers that go with it. The sample-based joints are enjoyably raw, and the songwriting is much better than might be anticipated from a bunch of West Country weeds with nicknames like “Mista Tee” and “Big Daddy Spence.” Without a fluke hit single or prime placement in a big-budget Hollywood film, the Heavy’s disc, which easily outclasses The Odd Couple fiasco, may fall between the cracks, but that Swaby character has serious potential.
The Heavy hit Lee’s Palace May 10.