After releasing 4 singles over 12 months and vinyl manufacturing delays, British blues rockers The Heavy North finally dropped their debut record “Electric Soul Machine” on Record Store Day 2022. Recorded at the 3rd Planet Recording Studio in Liverpool, mixed and produced by Jose Ibanez, and mastered by Martin Kuchta at Roughgrain Mastering, “Electric Soul Machine” deserved the wait, let me tell you why
With hot bluesy riffs and powerful vocals “The Genie” marks the start of “Electric Soul Machine”, preparing you for a trip full of bluesy guitars, fluid vocal melodies, and different textures by different instruments. Things get heavier and faster with “Darkness in Your Eyes” right at the pounding drums and rocking raw guitar intro. Its consistent dynamics and catchy melodies took the mood to a whole new level. “She Gets Me Higher” will fool you with its mellow start compared to “Darkness in Your Eyes” but, it smoothly transitions into one hell of a catchy tune showing their good command of writing dynamic structures with energetic riffs, engaging chorus, and shredding solos.
To keep you fresh and hooked “Awake” comes next, it introduces a more melodic sound while keeping the groove alive and kicking, and it has an amazing guitar tone too. “No Good” puts you into a relaxing mood to catch your breath. The chords strumming and guitar tone are really enjoyable and moving while the vocal melody was right and matched the guitar melody perfectly, I believe it has one of their best guitar works to be honest. Since there ain’t no rest for the wicked, “Satisfy You” hits you next. It’s a pure hard and heavy rock n roll piece with relentless powerful vocals and an all-in f*** you attitude from the whole band that’s pretty satisfying. The Heavy North steers the wheel into a slightly different direction in “Better Change”, their energy and touch are still clearly there but, with a more old school approach and bigger sound. At this point I was thinking “man, those guys are arena ready with no doubt”. With a melody derived from John Lee Hooker’s blues classic “Boogie Chillen” as ZZ Top did before in “La Grange” comes “To the Wind I Go”. It has a really nice and ear-grabbing progression and dynamics; the harmonica and keys break with those bluesy licks was an interesting touch and helped build up for its big ending. Approaching the end, they introduce “Falling Down on You” which I consider the best song off “Electric Soul Machine”. It’s well-written, well-structured with everything to make it memorable, it has a luring guitar and keyboard intro, a fluid powerful vocal melody, huge dynamics escalation after the saxophone’s surprise introduction, and its intense conversation with the guitars all leading into an epic ending. Ending the record with a heartfelt pure blues ballad on “As Long as You’re Here with Me” proving that they can do it all. Still introducing different sounds and melodies they added some beautiful violins that matched the powerful emotional vocals giving the song depth and new structure with awesome guitars and blues licks everywhere as usual.
“Electric Soul Machine” is solid proof of The Heavy North’s songwriting abilities and command of their instruments plus a good knowledge of their sound and genre with a unique touch. It has well-thought dynamics that’ll have your undivided attention right from the 1st note. Totally recommended for awesome music fans, will be definitely looking forward for more. Cheers!