CD Review: The HEAP — Deluxe

TheHEAPDeluxe The HEAP

Deluxe

By Samantha A. Parvin

Close your eyes and listen
to the first track, “One of Those Days,” from The HEAP’s debut studio album, Deluxe.
I can imagine bodies jammin’ out at a gig on the festival circuit on a hot yet
windy March afternoon, noodling to the funky beats of this eight-man stage
party. A festival junky would definitely appreciate the groovy and jam-friendly
rhythms of The HEAP. 

Lead vocalist and bassist
Bryan J. Howard has a burly, blues-influenced vocal style reminiscent of George
Clinton, Warren Haynes and even some James Brown mixed in there. The band’s
premiere performance was opening for Kevn Kenney in May 2007, but their sound
does not allude to the fledgling existence of the group. Musician Bryan Howard
collected his bandmates one artist at a time, and the crew now boasts a three
person brass section (Jeff Crouch, Marcus Gilley and Chris Costigan),
keyboardist Paul Kim, Diego Catalan and Ian Werden on percussion, Jeff Rieter
on bass, and of course, Bryan J. Howard on bass and vocals. 

The lyrics pervade a
bad-boy rebel image, especially in tracks like “Get Around,” where Howard
whales, “You smoked too many cigarettes / You drank too much booze / There’s
still some ‘that rum and Coke that chump just bought for you / You know just
how to make a young man beg / Just bat your eyes, flip your hair, show a little
leg.” 

The HEAP is known for their
colorful and energized live performances, and they are able to capture that
enthusiasm in their recordings.  Deluxe
oozes fun; and their hoppin’ original sounds blended appropriately with the
influence of great musicians that have preceded them makes for a rockin’ good
time.

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