They label themselves as Desert Psychedelic Rock, but to me they sound like a progression of grunge rock. I am not totally in love with the lead singer’s voice, but I am in love with the imperfections of his voice if that makes any sense. Let me put it this way, sometimes I don’t think his pitch is perfect, but then he amazes me with how his imperfect voice altogether fits what they are doing. The fact that he isn’t, or at least doesn’t seem to be, classically trained gives him a rawness that is essential to rock but is often found devoid in modern rock.
The progression is a little slow at times, I personally like my rock and roll to be bit faster and harder. One example stands out particularly, the track “Save the Kids for Food.” But the following track, “White Lightening” certainly appeals to my sense for a little more heaviness. With a resounding drum beat, and James’ voice which is now starting to grow on me more and more, listening over the album once again I find that not only is his voice perfectly suited for what the band is trying to accomplish, but I can also see where the band derives the genre description of Psychedelic Rock.
Actually, I can hardly believe I even criticized his voice earlier. I am a huge fan of unique voices and of sounding real, rather than technically good. That isn’t to say that Of the Heavy Sun is technically challenged, but rather that their sound is relatable and expresses real emotions.
One of the more notable features of this dynamic duo is the unique set up the pair have invented for themselves. The act started out, after working on several other projects that had disbanded, with James Rose on bass and Sam Emerick on drums. However, the band found that two rhythm instruments tends to lead to a somewhat base or bland sound. The band decided to change things up a bitand that is when the their previous experiences with engineering came in handy as they literally designed a pedal board for themselves. From what I am told, the board places an octave jump through a guitar and then is run through a bass amp. This ingenuity certainly seems to fill up the harmonic ranges, as I would never have noticed that this was a simple two piece band by listening to the album alone.
As mentioned earlier, Of the Heavy Sun was formed after James Rose and Sam Emerick had collaborated on a couple other projects which had disbanded. Once the pair worked out the kinks in their sound as a two piece set, they wrote and recorded their self-titled release entirely by themselves within a six month period. Considering that this record is entirely DIY, I must say it is a pretty clean album. For being a little on the slower spectrum of rock, I can say that I found myself grooving along through out the entire album. So, if you are in the mood for some fresh, melodic, jazzy, DIY rock you will certainly get a kick out of this album. I would say that fans of Modest Mouse, Queens of the Stone Age, or Beck are likely to find this album as appealing as I do. So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and take a listen, or two. Of the Heavy Sun is sure not to disappoint.