Memphian stoners The Heavy Eyes have been quiet these past five years, with a series of setbacks and lifestyle changes keeping the act on the back burner for a while. Thankfully they are back in 2020 in fighting fit shape, with a new album that’s sure to re-ignite the ardour of long term fans with it’s slew of groove-laden fuzz-metal and low slung reefer rock. And it’s so easy on the ear it might well snare a whole new battalion of fans into the bargain if there’s any luck…
They’ve only managed to come up with a half-hour’s worth of new material in this half decade break, which is a tad galling, if you’re an unreconstructed greed-head like me. However the quality here far outweighs the lack of quantity, with tracks like the choppily-riffed up Late Night really standing out as superior stylistic expositions of the stoner metal craft.
Trip Shumake and Matthew Qualls have that warm, syrupy guitar tone fans of this genre have come to know and love; however this pair add a real slink to their bludgeon, a soulful, snake-hipped switchback serenade that really hits home on the album’s standouts God Damn Wolf Man and A Cat Named Haku. Megalithic names from the past like Grand Funk Railroad and Mountain are summoned to the fore, whilst the counterpoint swing of Wally Anderson’s bass drips a classy funk all over the top. The Heavy Eyes certainly know about the power of a strutting instrumental meltdown, and pepper their tracks with this spicy stew at every opportunity.
The Profession ramps up the fuzz whilst drummer Eric Garcia raps out a glam-style tattoo on the tubs that adds yet another dimension to proceedings, leaving the listener assured in no uncertain terms that this is a band that’s got all the bases covered, as well as the infield and the outfield too; It’s hard to see how they could have refined or improved on what’s offered up here, and I’m just hoping they don’t leave it so long to follow up Love Like Machines next time. Get this into yer ears as soon as!
Love Like Machines is out on March 26th.