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Heavy Water - Red Brick City

Heavy Water
Red Brick City
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 25 October 2021, 1:12 PM

During the 70’s and the 80’s, if a son or a daughter started to play a guitar or any other musical instrument used in Rock, their parents started a massive terror campaign against the young one. The conservative ways cause severe damage on the minds of many, because such treatment on the mind of anyone could cause trauma. I and my generation here in Brazil can explain it for many (even not hating our parents for that), because all the Metalheads that came before the 90’s had to endure hard sufferings, even treated as trash or a ‘shame for the family’ (I’d like to ask what my father would say if he could see the level I reached). But today, many Metalheads pass on to their sons and daughters this passion we have for this music, so there are moments when fathers and sons meet and play along. And this is the case of HEAVY WATER, as can be heard on “Red Brick City”.

As everybody knows, the band is an effort of Biff Byford (the legendary vocalist of SAXON, here playing bass guitar and making some vocals) with his son, Seb. But don’t come thinking that you’ll find something similar to Biff’s main band. Here, the listeners will find an organic form of Hard Rock mixed with Stoner Rock/Metal and Grunge Rock influences. So the album is a link between the past and the present, a mix of musical influences from father and son, and it’s really very good. The production was done by Seb and Byff, with the first tooking care of the engineering and recording, leaving the mastering to Jacky Lehmann. And all sounds organic, nasty and rough, but in a way that is defined and can be understood without problem. It’s the best way for the band, and can be faced as a compendium for Stoner Rock bands in the future.

The reality is that “Red Brick City” is a very good album, and for those who aren’t fundamentalists on music will find treasures on songs as “Solution” (that shows an energy and weight that reminds the 70’s, with good guitars and backing vocals), the somber and melancholic feeling in the vein of ALICE IN CHAINS feeling that flows from “Turn to Black”, the Stoner/Grunge blow given by the melodies of “Red Brick City” (that reminds a lot elements of SOUNDGARDEN and MONSTER MAGNET, with an abrasive and melodic groove insight), the frantic and catchy aggressive melodies of “Revolution”, the accessible “Personal Issue No. 1”, “Follow This Moment” (a Rock ‘n’ Roll song with introspective elements inherited from Folk Rock from the 60’s, and the use of saxophone parts is a wise strategy), and “Faith” (a Rock ‘n’ Blues song typical from the 60’s, here clearly using a Fender guitar, and where bass and drums parts are solid and strong, as the keyboards are good as well).

Even far away from being a classic, “Red Brick City’s” uncompromised and spontaneous appeal is undeniable, so let’s hope that HEAVY WATER can keep releasing albums, for they’re pretty good, indeed.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Solution
2. Turn to Black
3. Red Brick City
4. Tree in the Wind
5. Revolution
6. Personal Issue No. 1
7. Medicine Man
8. Follow This Moment
9. Now I’m Home
10. Faith
Seb Byford - Guitars, Vocals
Biff Byford - Bss, Vocals
Tom Witts - Drums
Dave Kemp - Keyboards, Saxophone
Record Label: Silver Lining Records


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