Sheavy - "The Electric Sleep"
(Rise Above/The Music Cartel 1998, TMC 15CD)
From Aural Innovations #6 (April 1999)
Who'da thunk that stoner rock would spread as far as Newfoundland, Canada? Well, it's happened in the form of Sheavy, which I assume is pronounced like the name of a particular auto maker. Though stoner rock bands need to show some additional dimension to the music to warrant distinction from the genre's four Brummie heroes, and I'm not sure Sheavy has shown me that with this album, their followup to the 1996 debut "Blue Sky Mind."
Things start out rather promising, however, as "Virtual Machine" powers through with a scorching buzz-riff from guitarist Dan Moore. Also, "Velvet" is a pretty darn cool laid-back track, offering both acoustic/electric guitar and tenor/contralto vocal duets, and rather Wyndorfian in its psychyness. But then, with the opening line from "Destiny's Rainbow," ("Seven angels painted the heavens, six will find me still I can't know") vocalist Steve Hennessey begins his Ozzy Osbourne lovefest. The high-pinched and semi-mocking tone he uses for most of the rest of "The Electric Sleep" is unequestionably Ozzman-derivative. Just as much of the guitar work is Iommi-derived; bass?: see Geezer, drums?: see Ward. For sure, the title track is 100% recycled material from various "Paranoid" songs. "Automaton" has a touch more originality, but by this point I'd already grown tired of Hennessey's "borrowed" voice. The remainder of the album's ten tracks hardly waver from that ever-so-familiar approach.
In short, all I really have to say is that Sheavy is a Sabbath tribute band that have pretended to record an original album. While credibly done, I don't really see why anyone would need this album. Hollywood does this all the time...unnecessary remakes of classic old movies with less-talented, but younger-looking actors. Like Newfoundland itself, Sheavy is a half-hour behind on the musical timeline. Hence, I give it a Siskelian (R.I.P.) thumbs down.
You can visit Sheavy at their web site.
Reviewed by Keith Henderson