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Heavy Feather – Mountain Of Sugar Award winner

Heavy Feather
Mountain Of Sugar
by Matt Bozenda at 24 February 2021, 10:21 AM

The cold north winds can chill the air all over the globe if they can catch the right jet stream. Long after that wind propelled Viking longboats to their only goal on the Western shores, it carried Scandinavian contributions to the world’s music catalog. Even if only considering Sweden, any listener must acknowledge the titanic spectre of ABBA, but among rockers and metalheads some of the names that jump to mind are old stand-bys like BATHORY, CANDLEMASS, or that living lightning bolt YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, and one can point to more recent bands such as SABATON, TRUCKFIGHTERS, and THE HELLACOPTERS to name but a few active bands still out there.

But if you’re asking for something newer than that, look no further than the Classic Rock revivalists of HEAVY FEATHER with "Mountain Of Sugar", the sequel to their 2019 debut "Débris And Rubble". That album was like a herald on a hill, a clarion call in the midst of chaos, a beacon to bring the faithful back home; and the new album is anything but sophomoric. Last year, some of the band members made an appearance on the latest release from Swedish Stoners SIENA ROOT, and the good vibes didn’t exactly wear off even in a pandemic.

The album starts on a good foot with "30 Days", leaving no doubts about the band’s consistency. That along with the following track "Bright In My Mind" have such an intense CREAM-featuring-GRACE-SLICK feeling to them that one might believe they were listening to a remastered version of just such a collaboration.

The title track is a contemporary/classic Blues-Rock riff jam akin to early WOLFMOTHER, and while it’s the album’s shortest, it might be only exactly as long as it needs to be; the band doesn’t give themselves the chance to overdo it, a theme which thankfully sticks with the rest of the album. "Too Many Times" hangs from the same hook so well, it’s a surprise that someone the likes of JIMMY PAGE isn’t credited on the song.

"Let It Shine" provides a mid-album break from the whiskey-bottle pace, but then "Come We Can Go" cowbells it’s way up, injecting a fair bit of “Southern” Rock into the proceedings. That changes from Southern Rock to Southern Ballad for "Sometimes I Feel", featuring one of the other boys in the band on lead vocals.

Though it flips the title of the debut, "Rubble And Debris" is not a reimagined track, but like the previous "Lovely Lovely Lovely", it feels like a bit of filler (not BAD filler, but filler all the same). The final track, "Asking In Need", is another of the soft interludes to provide balance, and does it ever do that, incorporating a soothing piano and ending on a pleasant fade-out.

So many times has a band come screaming out of the gate with a monumental debut only to crash and burn before turn one; there are so many they aren’t even worth shortlisting. That’s why it can feel just so damn good when someone gets it right and you the listener can honestly enjoy what you’re hearing. HEAVY FEATHER has the feelgood formula at hand, clearly; coming from a country that isn’t known for half-measured crap, keeping the company of fellow professionals, or just doing what they’re supposed to do well, whatever they did to make "Mountain Of Sugar" work, it works.

Any of the first seven tracks could find a place in the All-2021 playlist, and even their not-so-great songs are still serviceable, which makes "Mountain of Sugar", overall, an excellent album and a viable contender for Album of the Year, even with an April release date. Classic Rockers will love it, Metalheads can take it for a relaxing sauna, and anyone who says different just may be lying.

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. 30 Days
2. Bright In My Mind
3. Love Will Come Easy
4. Mountain Of Sugar
5. Too Many Times
6. Let It Shine
7. Come We Can Go
8. Sometimes I Feel
9. Lovely Lovely Lovely
10. Rubble And Debris
11. Asking In Need
Lineup:
Lisa Lystam – Vocals
Matte Gustavsson – Guitars
Morgan Korsmoe – Bass
Ola Göransson – Drums
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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