Personnel: Shingai Shoniwa, Leah Symons (vocals); Chris Ellul (drums).
Audio Mixers: The Heavy; Jim Abbiss.
Bands that look to the '60s and '70s for inspiration are nothing new in the realm of rock music -- it seems every year, a new group appears that sounds like they thoroughly studied and regurgitated their parents' album collection. But when you find a band that manages to recall vintage sounds of the past and also put its own unique spin on the proceedings, then you've found something special. And that's exactly what the Heavy accomplish on their sophomore full-length, 2009's House That Dirt Built. Borrowing equally from garage rock and soul sounds from yesteryear (as well as merging in hip-hop beats, to boot), House That Dirt Built is one mightily impressive musical magic carpet ride. Singer Kelvin Swaby has the whole Rob Tyner/soul thang down pat (as evidenced by such ditties as "Love Like That"), and his bandmates keep pace throughout, with explosive rockers ("Oh No! Not You Again!"), Jack White-meets-James Brown grooves ("How You Like Me Now"), and a lush sonic sign-off ("Stuck"). Vintage rock revival done right. ~ Greg Prato