Heavy Times Jacker

Scuzzy, aggressive and melodic are adjectives that one could use to easily describe Heavy Times. But that would be no fun, as these Chicago, IL natives easily escape traditional descriptions. On their latest LP, Jacker, Heavy Times perfect their formula of mammoth-sized choruses, group-sung vocals and painfully melodic lead guitar. "Future City" and "Skull Hair" are two standouts, but both feature nearly identical song structures dependent on drawn-out, guitar-led intros and a singular repeated chorus that emerges towards the end of the track. The numbers on Jacker are gigantic; they build and bubble until they erupt in a mass of grungy pop goodness. It's easy to get distracted by the triumphant guitar and busy rhythm work that Heavy Times create with relative ease, yet one of their most wonderfully crafted songs is a mellow affair. "Memory Dump" has audible lyrics, guitar that's not too over-driven and a relaxing tempo that shows Heavy Times are capable of more than smashing your head in with rock'n'roll. (Hozac)