Michael Seguin (Guitarist, Keyboardist, Vocalist), Budd Lapham (Backup Vocalist, Bassist) and Dan Fried (Backup Vocalist, Drummer, Percussionist) – you may not be familiar with their names, or even the band’s collective moniker, Heavy AmericA, if you’ve been sleeping on the evolution of the rock genre. However if you slide any of their songs into your media player, you’ll be familiar with the band’s sound no matter which rock era you come from. Each and every one of this trio’s songs seems to come straight out of the ‘unwritten’, classic school of rock songbook – Massive drums, thundering bass lines, bone-crushing riffs and no-holds-barred, moody and melodic vocals.
Like any confident, well-oiled rock unit, Heavy AmericA, stick to their guns, doing what they do best…only better than before. They tighten up their timing, elaborate their chord progressions, and refine their arrangements to the point of perfection, without ever sounding like a corporate rock machine.
Heavy AmericA retains that 70’s rock rawness, infused with the usual epic early-Black Sabbath sonics. There also seems to be a desire to incorporate elements of progressive rock which is beginning to show in the band’s latest single “Proud Shame” which comes off their latest album, “Now”.
Although I love all of the band’s releases, this one really stands out. I especially appreciate the detail in the track, the variety in tone colors, a nice dynamic range, and above all else, the swing from subtle passages to the sheer power of others.
“Proud Shame” opens with a beautiful medieval and slightly haunting choral/chant effect that would fit right into some adventurous movie soundtrack. From there on out the track has such a massive amount of energy and catchy guitar hooks to support the vocal and narrative.
While Heavy AmericA displays fine lyricism the more important thing about this new single and their preceding releases is the musicianship. They deliver hungry, aggressive playing, as well as a tight, clean production, with raw hard and heavy elements, which separate them from most other modern rock bands.
Not to diminish the importance of a solid bassist and steady drummer, but in rock, there are two things that stand out most and make it or break it with the average record buyer: A great vocalist and a hot guitarist. Heavy AmericA has both of these wrapped up in one person. Nevertheless, in order for the song itself to rise to any level of greatness, it has to have great music – something “Proud Shame” has in abundance!