The Heavy The Glorious Dead

The HeavyThe Glorious Dead
There's a resurgence of bands that "play off the vibe." While most critics were busy comparing the Black Keys' grooves to the White Stripes' riff-heavy rock, it was actual artists like Charles Bradley, Lee Fields and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Tones that complemented the Keys' unique, guttural energy. On their third LP, Bath, England's the Heavy have ostensibly solidified that sound, delivering ten rock and soul-infused tracks that lay low on the concept and ride high on the performance. Standouts like "Can't Play Dead" and "What Makes a Good Man" play off of proverbial rock statutes, like call-and-response vocals and pendulum-swinging rhythms. Injecting a punk energy into "Just My Luck" and an Al Green stride into "Blood Dirt Love Stop," vocalist Kevin Swaby knows exactly how to treat each song's trembling pulse. The Glorious Dead is an achingly self-aware throwback record, focusing more on the strength of each song than the album's overall structure. (Ninja Tune)