Light Lunch EP
We get quite a few emails from bands and promoters of bands informing us of lower-profile releases. Sometimes these emails are just to inform, but often they are solicitations of sorts to see if we will review an album or EP. Often, we just ignore them, but every once in awhile, one of us will go through the stack and see if there is anything worthwhile to write about, or even just add to our iTunes library. So, when I opened the email to check out Minneapolis-based coast-rock band Heavy Deeds, my mind was open, but expectations were not soaring. I am happy to report, Heavy Deeds debut EP Light Lunch(officially released today) has been in heavy rotation on my iPod for about a week.
A lot of fantastic individual elements make up Light Lunch, but let me talk first about what Heavy Deeds was able to do as a whole on the five-song promotional. First, they were able to find a thread of consistency from track to track. A lot of times a debut offering seems to consist of throwing a bunch of ideas against the wall, spreading as broad an umbrella as possible to see what takes. With Light Lunch, Heavy Deeds shows the makings of a group of mature musicians, with a pretty clear vision of what they want to accomplish musically. This clarity of vision also shines through in the patience Heavy Deeds shows on most of the tracks.
“One Drum” perfectly exemplifies this patience, with its slow-burning organ and atmospheric electric guitar and percussive elements all gently working toward the same goal. It almost reminds me in tone and effect of Mr. Gnome’s superb 2012 single “The Way”, even if the songs themselves are constructed completely different. The lack of urgency of the vocals lets the music take you where it will.
The title track, an airy summer tune (think Cults “Go Outside”) with a looping acoustic guitar riff, is the perfectly accessible type of track that probably has the best chance of garnering Heavy Deeds some widespread recognition. But that doesn’t mean its any less mature songwriting, as the song enters the bridge without any break in flow, which is a rare feat. The chorale nature of the the bridge also surprisingly doesn’t enter cheesy ground, like you often expect in that scenario.
The final individual track I would like to highlight is “Wrong Number”, which reminds me greatly of my love for The Grateful Dead circa 2005. I loved Grateful Dead tunes not in and of themselves, but the arrangements of classic Dead songs as reinterpreted by Phil Lesh & Friends that I saw at Bonnaroo. On this particular tour, Joan Osborne handled most of the vocal duties for Lesh, and there was more of a epic gospel feel to tracks like “Shakedown Street”, “I Know You Rider”, and “Fire On the Mountain”. Like with most newer bands these days, I’m sure Heavy Deeds would like to stay away from the “jam band” label, so I want to make clear my Grateful Dead comparison lies completely on the Phil Lesh interpretation, if he was able to keep his interpretations’ lengths under seven minutes.
The only track on the EP I was disappointed with was “Island”. Simply put, I found the guitar riff a little grating and uninventive. The vocals still deliver, but could have been highlighted better by something smoother than the current arrangement. But even with this mild complaint, I know I am going to continue spinning Light Lunch while driving with my windows down for most of the summer. Light Lunch is available on iTunes for $4.95, so I recommend you pick it up.
Can’t Miss: “One Drum”, “Light Lunch”, “Wrong Number”
Can’t Hit: “Island”