Album Review: Hurt & The Merciless by The Heavy
Whether you’re tired of hearing The Heavy’s song “Turn Up” featured on the March Madness coverage or not, the boys are back. Their new album, Hurt & The Merciless, is dropping April 1, and you can take comfort in knowing they have even better tracks on this new effort.
One of the most impressive things about The Heavy is how great they are at writing a hook, Hurt & The Merciless is further proof of this talent. They obviously have a knack for writing catchy songs. (See: “How You Like Me Now” and “What Makes a Good Man”) While The Heavy have always had dark-tinted subject matter, Hurt & The Merciless seems to reflect a very volatile time in the members’ lives. Some of the later tracks (“Last Confession”, “Mean Ol’ Man”, “Goodbye Baby”) could double as a suicide note. Nothing wrong with that, some of the most interesting music ever created is absurdly dark. But it definitely makes it clear this album wasn’t written in the setting of a Corona Beer Commercial.
This is good album and sticks closely to what we expect from The Heavy, but what keeps it from being a great album is over-saturation. Hurt & The Merciless has the standard 12 tracks of most rock albums, but they sound so similar it’s difficult to distinguish one from another. They seemed to incorporate a horn section in every track as if they were told how much people love it. For some of the tracks, it feels jarringly out of place to get a trumpet blast greeting you at the beginning.
There’s also an oversaturation of vocal harmonies. Lead man Kelvin Swaby has an exceptional voice and great aura as a front man, but it will often get buried beneath over-used horns and vocal harmonies. It gives the tracks depth, but it takes away from the most unique things The Heavy offer – a soulful front man with a gritty voice.
Hurt & The Merciless would’ve benefited from doing what Iggy Pop did on Post Pop Depression and limited it to only eight tracks. Honestly, when’s the last time you listened to an ENTIRE album? And when is the last time you enjoyed an entire album? It’s pretty rare. So rather than drop 12 tracks that don’t have much diversity, just give us eight that are exceptional. The Heavy are capable of exceptional tracks, but they were dressed up with this album, rather than stripped down, and The Heavy should opt for naked.
The driving pace of the song makes me daydream of when we’ll get to enjoy this live and groove on the dance floor. Last Confession gives the tale of a sinister man finally coming to grips with his evil ways. At the breakdown at 2:50 mark, the lyrics “Don’t try to save me, there’s no one to blame” are repeated as the words of a man accepting whatever consequences will come from his actions. He’s tried to change, he never will, and he’s ok with that. Evil and loving it, just how we like The Heavy.
This is the best track on the album. It starts with simple but catchy drum beats, then adds some menacing vocals as it builds to one brilliant hook. The song is about a woman that has to live the bitter existence of a beauty queen that has fallen from her pedestal. The almost taunting chorus serves as a reminder that even though you’re on top of the world one day, it can all come crashing down, so be careful who it is you step on during your climb to the top.
SUBJECTIVE HWID RATING: B