Local CD Review: The Blue Heavy

The Blue Heavy
The Blue Heavy EP

Officially based in West Tennessee but made up of a bunch of University of Tennessee students, this old-fashioned thud-rock quartet more than qualifies as a local band, and we should be glad to have them. On its very first recording, a four-song self-titled EP, the Blue Heavy convincingly recreates the nasty, scuzzy Neanderthal heavy rock of early-'70s bands like Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, and Sir Lord Baltimore.

The band's retro style may be owe more to Jack White and the Black Keys than it does to the originals, but it's hard to tell from this 15-minute slab; guitarist Jac Conley's fuzzy, sticky, downtuned riffs are anchored by an effectively primal rhythm section, made up of drummer Bo Kitzman and bassist Mark Crider, and all the instrumental sludge is enlivened by singer Ben Gaines' impressively swaggering warble.

The band got this EP out just in time to head home for summer, but there's one more chance to catch them before they leave; they're playing Fort Sanders Fest at World's Fair Park on Saturday.