Heavy Hinges
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Heavy Hinges

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Roots

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"Heavy Hinges 'Cause a Scene' with new EP"

Entertaining Cincinnati Rock/Soul/Roots quintet Heavy Hinges is set to issue its latest recording, the six-track Cause a Scene, this weekend in conjunction with a release party performance. Saturday’s free event at Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com) begins at 10 p.m. Local singer/songwriter/cellist Kate Wakefield also performs.

Heavy Hinges came together five years ago and honed its craft with energetic live shows on the local club scene before releasing its first debut, Mean Old City, in 2014. Cause a Scene displays an even tighter chemistry between the talented musicians, who still roam around musical styles without ever losing their own distinctive band personality.

Described in a CityBeat review of Heavy Hinges’ debut as a “secret weapon,” singer (and ukulele player) MayaLou Banatwala emerges on Cause a Scene with more confident guidance. She matches the charisma of fellow singer (and guitarist) Dylan Speeg, a veteran local artist and musician (Rottweilers, Buckra) who anchors the band, with her perfect mix of Soul music’s expressiveness and Punk Rock swagger and sass. The other musicians (drummer Brian Williamson, bassist Andrew Laudeman and guitarist Jeremy Singer) are flawless throughout, providing both the precision and feel needed for a sound largely based on classic R&B, as well as a bit of Rock & Roll flair.

All six tracks on Cause a Scene are superb. The EP opens with the smoldering groove of “Another Minute” (aided by great electric-piano ornamentation from recording engineer Matt Hueneman) before gliding into an impressive cover of “Valerie,” originally by British band The Zutons but made famous by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse’s version from 2007. Hearing Banatwala sing a song so closely associated with one of the current millennium’s most revered Soul singers is a great method to show how fantastic of a singer she is, in the same way that a painter recreating a famous van Gogh piece freehand is going to give a good sense of the artist’s unique identity and depth of natural talent. Banatwala definitely lives up to the weighty comparison that presents itself.

Elsewhere on Cause a Scene, the Hinges show their versatility on the buoyant, swinging Country burner “Long Time,” a greatly constructed song that if one was told was also a cover of a classic tune, there’d be no reason to doubt it. The musicians indeed turn to a classic with their spin on the traditional “Jericho,” making it their own and allowing Speeg to fully showcase his charming vocal gifts. “Too Hot Handle” rocks with a bit of New Wave verve and shimmy before closing track “Bounce Back” concludes the proceedings like a James Brown cape-routine, extending into a seven-minute Rock & Soul-revue jam.

Most of the members of Heavy Hinges have a wealth of musical experience, so they were solid from the get-go. But Cause a Scene shows what can happen when great musicians spend extensive time playing together — the effortless musical intimacy and camaraderie makes the music jump from the speakers and grab the listener by the collar in a way it didn’t before. - Citybeat


"Dynamic and soulful Cincinnati Rock group Heavy Hinges hits peak form on new 'Lonely' EP"

Cincinnati rockers Heavy Hinges are back with their latest EP, Lonely, which will get the release-party treatment Saturday at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The free show begins at 10 p.m. with an opening set from Joe Hedges, the former Cincinnati-area singer/songwriter and onetime frontperson with the popular Middletown, Ohio band July for Kings who currently lives in eastern Washington.

Together as Heavy Hinges since 2012, the band’s Roots- and Soul-inflected Rock sound has only gotten more sublime with time. A newcomer when the group started, Maya Banatwala has emerged as one of Cincinnati’s finest powerhouse vocalists, and Lonely again serves as a showcase for her elastic, soul-drenched voice. (Guitarist Jeremy Singer left the band after recording the new EP; Kirk Hunter has since been playing lead guitar in the group.)

Lonely shows the continuing sharpening of Heavy Hinges’ writing chops, featuring some of the band’s most melodically memorable songs yet. On the hard-driving rocker “Stoned,” the slashing guitars and pounding drums give way to a two-tiered chorus that’s a tilt-a-whirl of next-level Pop hooks. The shimmery glide of “Day to Day” also deserves a spot on any Heavy Hinges greatest hits collection, with its the twinkling guitar rhythms and Honky Tonk-ish guitar leads. The song also provides a great example of guitarist Dylan Speeg’s talent for background vocal arrangements, as he augments the track’s summer-breeziness with low-register doo-woppy croons.

Lonely starts off in high gear, but shifts down after the early Rock & Roll sparks. By the last two tracks, the ace rhythm section of Andrew Laudeman (bassist) and Brian Williamson (drums) has eased into a serene sway. Closer “Ms. Right” begins with just guitar and Banatwala’s bluesy bluster, then slowly rises with twangy guitar, rolling drums and piano plinks that create a desert-sunset mood.

While the incorporation of ingredients borrowed from other styles has always been a key part of Heavy Hinges’ appeal, as the foundational songwriting and arrangements get stronger, so does the band’s own distinct identity. And with a big helping hand from co-producer and engineer Matt Hueneman (who also adds atmosphere with his diverse keyboard playing), Lonely presents Heavy Hinges’ charm and personality exquisitely. - CityBeat


Discography

Mean Old City - 2014

Cause A Scene - 2017

Lonely - 2018

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Bio

Heavy Hinges offer a singular and authoritative voice in music today. With a dark and soulful longing, Mayalou Banatwala’s dynamic vocals adorn textured, well-crafted songs with an authenticity that is both infectious and disarming. While rock & roll, r&b, and blues compose the scaffolding on which the band’s sound rests… older and more nuanced influences haunt their melodies, rhythms, and lyrics, as well. From eons-old chain gangs to rock & roll icons of the late 20th century, Heavy Hinges’ mosaic of influence spans generations, culminating in an earthy and spirited sound that is deeply reverent to the past... and compellingly relevant to the present. Heavy Hinges’ catalog has grown to include three remarkable releases to date, Mean Old City, Cause a Scene, and their latest and most acclaimed release… Lonely. As Heavy Hinges forge ahead, they continue to follow their instincts toward the next chapter in their unique journey as an emerging American band.

Band Members