by Brain Varney
I’m not one of those people who gets hung up on the rather laughable concept of originality in rock music, I promise. I’m not saying all rock bands sound the same, but the idea that a band could come up with something nobody’s done in the 50+ year history of what is, in technical terms, an absurdly simple music, is kinda funny. Plus, does originality really factor into whether or not a band is any good? As long as a band is good, I’m generally not too bothered if said band wears its influences prominently.
Having said that, I can’t believe how annoyed I am with Sheavy‘s crippling debt to Black Sabbath, especially Steve Hennessey’s uncommon vocal similarity to Ozzy Osbourne. Yeah, I know, the guy can’t help it if he was born with Ozzy’s unknowing vocal doppelganger, but I refuse to accept such an innocent explanation. This is clearly someone who has studied and affected Ozzy’s phrasing and tone and, really, is quite a talented mimic. And whoever recorded these vocals applied a mixture of echo and reverb and whatever else (sorry, I’m not a studio aficionado) that only makes them sound that much more ridiculously close to the original.
And why? Why would you expend all of the necessary effort to write, rehearse, arrange, and record original songs that you’re going to perform by aping someone whose work you obviously admire? Why not just join a cover band? I’d be interested to hear some of these songs with a different singer because I like some of the riffs and ideas going on here (especially the title track’s cool synth flourishes and the chugging riff in “Last of the V8 Interceptors”), but the singer’s voice stands firmly in the path of any enjoyment I might get from this CD. The real question: Will they eventually replace the singer with a balding midget who sings suspiciously like Dio?
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