Some bands are too good for their own good. Some bands try and polish their sound till their album is 'bout as dull as a Steely Dan record. But some bands just go for it, loose and lean, like they were back in the garage- or woodshed. The Heavy Company (THC) are one of these bands. They just wrapped up production on their new album Midwest Electric, and this loose, jammy, heavy album proudly displays its warts for all the world to see. This album is rough and wonderful, a throwback to the sounds of yore, when rock bands weren't into categories and would throw anything into their sonic stew without worrying about what any scene might think.
This experimental mindset, coupled with conviction, drove THC to make the album they'd want to hear. They've pieced together Hawkwind effects and scope, Greatful Dead noodling, and riffs when needed to create a compelling piece of Hoosier rawk. Here's a quick rundown of the album.
The Humboldt County Waltz starts things off with a cough, before garagey guitars accompany Ian Gerber's skillet fried warble as he asks for what we all want; "a stash like Willie's and some/room to breathe". This line sums up the bands philosophy, and likely more than a few of you can relate. A Groove a Mile Wide drips like frozen molasses from the speakers with minimal guitar and hints of drone and echo. Neil Young is a ballad that name checks the godfather of grunge, Greasy Mush is an instrumental with stuttering boogie riffs and leads that ring while some wicked synths gurgle in the background. One Big Drag can be heard below, so I'll spare you my description. Sailing Towards the Setting Sun is the trippiest track on the album, which you might have gleaned from the sci-fi title. The tune drones and floats and the narrator sings about existential space concerns. The tune might seem out of place on an album by a band who gave a shit about making all their tunes a copy of the previous one. The album ends with a bang, El Bango Grande gallops out the gates with country inflected vocals which give way to whooshing effects and Pink Floyd style sparse guitar scapes. An eclectic end to an interesting album.
Find this one on Bandcamp, in digital or CD. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for vinyl.