What does it sound like?:
When Mark Lanegan, the voice of god, describes someone as “a musical genius” I pay attention. Duke has worked with him on many occasions, writing songs, playing guitar, rattling some drums, blowing some brass. He’s a genuine multi-instrumentalist. It turns out his voice is a bluesy growl that sounds as though it has crawled out of a swamp near New Orleans, not unlike Lanegan’s. Heavy Love was recorded in some studio spare time while the two of them made Black Pudding. As a result, Alain Johannes from Queens Of The New Stone Age produces while Lanegan mixes.
Heavy Love, as a whole, is an intense, atmospheric piece. The guitar shimmers and gleams, the rhythm section provides texture rather than drive and the lyrics add intrigue rather than clarity. There may be few actual tunes, no real riffs and no grooves, yet it is very pleasant on the ear. Duke’s voice is authoritative and engrossing, especially when counterpointed by a female (Jehnny Beth on the title track and Petra Phillipson on Disco Lights). There is an undercurrent of restrained anger.
The album evokes the outdoors; sometimes a stifling desert, at others a relentless downpour, a muggy fog or a shivering night. It is an otherworldly listen, the kind of album that has to be surrendered to. Once you are in its world, there are many pleasures to enjoy in this, a thoroughly modern blues LP.
What does it all *mean*?
The world is an amazing place. With his big beard, his voice and his moody guitar, Duke Garwood is convincingly deep South. However, this boy is from Kent.
Goes well with…
Darkness, Jack Daniels and top quality weed. Not that I’ve actually tried this combination. Under headphones, there are plenty of details to reverberate around your brain.
Might suit people who like…
A Friday night supper with Vulpes Vulpes, Remember those?