Sunday, 7 July 2019

Swan Valley Heights - The Heavy Seed (Album Review)

Release date: September 6th 2019. Label: Fuzzorama Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Heavy Seed – Tracklisting

1.The Heavy Seed
2.Vaporizer Woman
3.Take a Swim in God's Washing Machine
4.My First Knife Fight
5.Teeth & Waves 10:37


Swan Valley Heights new album The Heavy Seed is a Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal offering where nothing is as it seems. As the band play a cool and progressive style of music that allows the band to merge elements of Psych Rock, Stoner Rock, Space Rock, Doom, Fuzz Rock and Classic Rock into a wildly surreal and heavy experience that sees the band play their own style of high octane Rock and Roll.

Opening song – The Heavy Seed – is a thirteen minute plus song that starts off rather quietly and quite abstract with the Post Rock interludes slowly building upto a more exciting style of music when the Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rock vibes appear. Swan Valley Heights start adding different layers of distorted Space/Stoner Rock riffs that morph into a more Doom based sound.

The atmosphere can be quite complex in places and there is a lot of different things going on at the same time. The vocals take an age to finally appear but the band treat the listener to high amounts of Fuzz Rock riffage. This is the standout song on the album and it’s a brave and risky decision to open the album with the longest track on the album. However, this works in Swan Valley Heights favour. As this song shows the listener what to expect for the remainder of the album.

Second song – Vaporizer Women – may not be as progressive or creative as the epic opening song. However, this is still another superb song that sees the band play a more “straight-forward” style of Psychedelic Fuzz/Stoner Rock. The lyrics and vocals are more restrained and it’s good to see a different side to Swan Valley Heights music starting to shine through. The whole song is more melodic and thoughtful in places and leaves you wanting more. I enjoyed the quieter parts of the song immensely as this reminded me of Weedpecker in certain places. Though, the familiar Fuzz/Stoner Rock heavy riffs are never too far behind and bring this song to an exciting finish.

Third song - Take A Swim In God’s Washing Machine – gets straight down to business of playing loud progressive sounds for the first few moments. The band switch gears yet again for a slower style of Spaced Out sound. The song can be to “mellow” in places but this is where the Psychedelic and Post-Rock ambient textures of the album really start to take effect. Add the soothing vocals which have a slight Alternative Rock feel to them. The album once again fully comes to life when the thundering Stoner Metal grooves appear.

Fourth song – My First Knife Fight – is Fuzz/Stoner Metal instrumental song where Swan Valley Heights don’t mess around and get straight down to business playing a hard-rocking song that’s of the standout songs held on the album.

The final song – Teeth & Waves – has a cinematic feel to it with the band once again slowly building and creating different styles of atmospheric music. The song has a soothing “Drone” based melody being played in the background before elements of Psychedelic Rock and Post-Rock interludes fully take over. The aggressive Fuzz Rock/Stoner Metal vibes appear throughout the song but it’s the quieter moments that left me wanting more. The reflective vocals are excellent yet again. As the band end this album on a glorious high.

The production is pitch perfect and this allows the band to create an exciting sound all of their own making.

Overall, The Heavy Seed is a truly cinematic album in every sense of the word. Swan Valley Heights have created an album that is powerful to refresh your mind, body and soul.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Fuzzorama Records for the promo. The Heavy Seed will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Fuzzorama Records from September 6th 2019.