Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Heavy Benders deliver a story of hope with third album ‘The Greater Scheme’

The Heavy Benders music and experience is nothing short of completely immersive. The Brighton group is relatively brand new to music but they wasted no time, writing and creating their hearts out. Only releasing their second album 11 months ago, their third, ‘The Greater Scheme’, is already here. 

Lead vocalist and drummer Ben Holst stated on their social media that his album is all about joy. There is no doubting that once the music hits your ears, it is upbeat and dancey in a sort of post-punk way.

 The opener and lead single ‘Love is Violence’ immediately throws the listener into an electro-rock, almost trance-like atmosphere which is supported by Holst’s echoing vocals. It’s almost like taking Joy Division’s music style and giving it Bono’s voice: ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ but make it seem hopeful. It has a message of moving on about it. However, the music is almost too synthy, it overpowers the singer's voice. The track has a satisfying fade-out leading right into ‘Paper Plates’. This one has an almost country vibe to it, at least in the lyrics and the singer has a rawness in his voice here. That’s the only thing raw about it, it’s also a bit too overproduced, but this one has almost a completely different feel to it than the previous. It’s still hopeful and heavily synthed, but this one feels more like country rock rather than post-punk rock.

The band genre jumps again with ‘Oh! The Excess’. This one jumps to immediately feel like a pop song, I almost expected Carly Rae Jepsen to start singing. Even with the most pop feel to it, it’s not nearly as synthed as the previous two, in a good way because it allows the lyrics to get the attention they deserve. 

The vibe of the album feels very much like an anthem for moving on, finding hope and joy, and self-acceptance. That anthemic feel is throughout the whole album, lyrically and in structure, each song truly feels like it has a rising action to it and the listener can feel it in their chests. The tracks however are constantly changing in the genre.

‘Extreme To Impossible’ jumps back to the post-punk vibe, however, this one is more of a Talking Heads style, but way more robotic. With ‘Invisible’ and ‘Hello Me’ they’ve jumped to a more modern alternative rock sound. Here it also becomes clear that they are telling a story of heartbreak and anger to healing, acceptance, and finding yourself again. This followed with ‘Take The Fear’ which seems to be about being afraid of heartbreak. The electro-rock sound comes back here a little too much even making the singer’s voice sound a bit video game-like. Sadly that vibe stays for the remaining three songs ‘Brown Eyes’, ‘Deserve’ and ‘Make A Ton Feel Light’.

The closing track ‘Make A Ton Feel Light’ is the hopeful ending, a love song to conclude a journey of healing. But the lyrics are a bit hard to understand due to its overproduction. Overall, it is a great album about discovering joy again. 

The Heavy Benders are a group with a lot of potential, so much that their Facebook describing them as “mellow/surf rock” is insane. With the genre-jumping just in these ten songs, they are picking up vibes from all across the board, staying strong in a new wave alternative sound. There is so much talent here in the singing and in these lyrics that would tell a beautiful story if not so drowned out by synth. Nonetheless, this is a group that clearly gives their all to their art and it is still beautiful and something that people should be excited to hear more of.

Hope Orr


Image: ‘The Greater Scheme’ Official Album Cover


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