Musicians shouldn't be allowed to use the word "raw" to describe their own work. But the terrible twosome known as the Black Diamond Heavies is hereby awarded carte blanche. From the distorted "whoo!" that opens the song "Guess You Gonna," it's clear that the Heavies like to keep things as raw and ground-up as dirt drums with a trashcan rattle that sound huge and far away (like they were recorded in a wide-open space down the street) and overdriven Fender Rhodes. That's all there is to it, but then again, there's so much more. For one, the absence of guitar actually enhances the Heavies' sound and gives it freshness and guts. When keyboard player/vocalist Reverent John Wesley Myers cranks the distortion, the music kicks, spits, and growls like an angry mule. But when he holds back and dips into some vintage soul, the Heavies achieve a space and mournfulness that most garage bands could only dream of. For all the repetition that's endemic to rock 'n' roll, the Black Diamond Heavies have the drive and spark to reawaken faith in even the most jaded listener.
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