The Heavy: Hurt & The Merciless

Fourth album from sync-ers’ favourite funk-soul brothers.

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You hear a lot of The Heavy on TV and in film: they’re good at soundtracking action. That’s them on Entourage and Limitless.

The mariachi funk of the track Nobody’s Hero seems designed for a western in which Samuel L Jackson blows someone’s brains out in slow motion. Actually, on this, their first album since 2012’s The Glorious Dead, they decided to soundtrack their own action, approximating the sweat and speed of their live set.

With the heft of rock and fat bottom of funk, ‘Heavy’ neatly summarises the sound achieved by guitarist Dan Taylor, bassist Spencer Page and drummer Chris Ellul, while singer Kelvin Swaby adds the requisite guts and grit.

They might be from the West Country, known for its stoned, loping trip-hop sound, but theirs is fast and furious. Take the pumping, pulsating Since You Been Gone; Turn Up has the urgency of northern soul; The Apology is James Brown on steroids. These are ripe for future samplers, a treasure trove of beats and horn parts for tomorrow’s rappers to plunder.

Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.