Playing to your soft spot for slow-building love incantations as much as they are your inner-need for screaming guitar blasts, Bowery Beasts announce themselves boldly with their debut EP, Heavy You (released July 5 on Black Creem Records). In doing so, the Beasts make their voice known quickly, revealing a seasoned edge that ranges from fluid and unassuming to gritty and unapologetic.
Attributing a solid portion of their foundation to the past—particularly to some ‘80s hair bands, as well as to well-known punk and glam rock icons—the L.A.-based duo proves they can rock it just like some of their forebears once did, but that they’re no re-creation act that imitates its inspirations.
On the more rugged side of things, “White Diamond Babe” invokes the spirits of late-‘70s British punk stalwarts, with an array of grating guitar thrashes from Jordan Wiggins and resounding vocals fueled with intent. Marion Belle, who handles vocal duties, however, doesn’t merely stoke the fire on the five selections found on Heavy You. Displaying his versatile range, he also speaks through it in more hushed and patient tones, especially on the two strongest tracks, “Rock n Roll Queen” and “Amulet.”
The relaxing “Rock n Roll Queen,” which comes off as an ode to Southern California and its slow-moving ways, features buttery notes from Belle that carefully interweave an acoustic and piano jingle, creating an undoubtedly calming effect. Here and elsewhere on the EP, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to detect some Bowie influences, but the song remains original on the whole.
“Amulet” is the Beasts’ stab at a rock ballad. In a similar grain to “November Rain” and “Here I Go Again on My Own,” it quickly sends the signal that something major and dramatic is soon to come about. Though shorter and slightly toned down compared to some of the classic ballad megaliths, “Amulet” still fires away and brings about that desired sense of momentousness, doing so with sustained vocals and guitars squealing away their parts to draw out the grandiose notion.
For those who still have that thirst for straight ahead rockers that never hold back and keep things fresh and interesting, Heavy You should be a good place to start giving your ears what they seek.