Heavy Hometown
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Heavy Hometown

Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Band Rock

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
16
Heavy Hometown @ Broad Ripple Music Fest

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Sep
19
Heavy Hometown @ ORANJE Art & Music Festival

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Aug
21
Heavy Hometown @ The Rooftop at Glassworks

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Heavy Hometown is the latest local project to catch my ears. Jon Wood (guitar/vox), Corey Barnes (drums/vox) and Eric Park (bass/synth) make up the project and actually, like me, have ties to both Indianapolis and Louisville. They're drawing comparisons to The National, and what I like most is that most songs on Heavy Hometown's debut self-release, Action Figures (July 15th release date), don't waste your time. They generally get in and get out in just under three minutes. Each song seemed to leave me wanting more.
- Dodge Lile June 8, 2009 - My Old Kentucky Blog


Drawing favourable comparisons to Arcade Fire and The Nationals wont do this Louisville / Indianapolis band any harm. Personally, I suspect their influences go back a little further to bands like Luna and, at a stretch, The Wedding Present. They seem to have that “polished shambolic” thing going on which, when combined with synths and brass, has charm in abundance. Lyrically, they maybe sharing the meaning of life, but the vocals are mixed low and distorted, so I remain ignorant of the details. It’s no big deal. Their songs are addictive and catchy, and the tunes stick.
- Rob F. July 3, 2009 - Leicester Bangs UK


Heavy Hometown, a trio with members living in Louisville and Indianapolis, has worked up an excellent full-length that's remarkable more for its atmospherics than songcraft, achieving a dreamy, low-fi texture that recalls early Yo La Tengo...
- Scott Shoger June 24, 2009 - Nuvo Newsweekly, Indianapolis


After nearly a year of relentlessly touring the local Midwest live music circuit, three-piece band Heavy Hometown has settled down and recorded their debut LP. Short, sweet, and oddly mature-sounding, Action Figures is a finely crafted album that places a heavy emphasis on mood, atmosphere, and holistic feeling, rather than meaning.

The origins of Heavy Hometown band members have been purposely hidden. They feel that they would rather live shrouded in mystery than be stifled or tied down by restrictive labeling. Despite their crafty guise, it is all too obvious where these guys are from. It’s about as subtle as someone tugging on your sleeve and whispering “chicken and dumplings” into your ears. Because a great deal of these tracks scream “Midwest!” like no other. Not that that’s a bad thing, of course. As a former resident of the so-called Heart of America, I would be detested by such thoughts. But, just as we are influenced by the myriad experiences in life, our surroundings also influence us and become a part of who we are. Such is the same with Action Figures. Favoring the traditional over the overtly experimental, this record is beautiful and comforting in its familiarity. It is warm and surprisingly full with varying sounds and instrumentation-a remarkable feat considering that there are only three pairs of hands at disposal.

All tracks on this record “sound” pretty good. That is to say that sonically, they hit all the right notes. And even for this being a debut album, there are very few mismatched melodies or blatant errors. At a few spots, such as the deflated, sleepy-sounding “No Bodies,” it may become awkward, but it is never bad. There are lots of great dynamic shifts and transitions, and those priceless synth waves in the excellent “Hold Hands Plans” and the wistful charm of “Retreat City.”

Although the backing may sound just fine and dandy, the vocals are a different story. To put it nicely, they are hit-or-miss. Consistently inconsistent. See, Heavy Hometown utilizes a two-singer approach: about half of the songs are performed by guitarist Jon Wood and the rest are given to drummer Corey Barnes. While Jon Wood’s voice nicely complements the band’s warm sound, Corey Barnes’ efforts are often weaker and hindering. While it is evident that he is attempting to portray emotions like detachment and sorrow, he shouldn’t sound this bored. While, by definition, Barnes may not have a “monotone” voice, he gets impressively close. I would say that he has a working armada of about five notes, maybe six. This may sort of work on trudging, fatigued tracks like “Microchiplove,” or even the peppier “Black Bikini,” but his awkward off-putting drone sounds particularly agonizing on tracks like “Strange Wave” and “No Bodies.” And when Barnes and his fellow band mates have slaved away creating an excellent sonic backdrop, it is painfully disappointing to have it fribbled away by a poor set of pipes.

Lyrically, these guys are not out to unravel the mysteries of the universe. They are neither scholarly nor innovative. They are simply out to capture hidden intricacies behind everyday life. Exploring is all that they’re doing. But considering that this is the first in what will (hopefully) be a long line of releases, I’d say that they are ahead of the game. Because, despite its disappointing vocal quality, Action Figures has a rich, satisfying, atmospheric sound. And while it may not change your life, it is emotional and introspective enough to be worthwhile and engaging.
- Delusions of Adequacy


I recently found one of my favorite little discoveries of the summer. It’s a band called Heavy Hometown. They hail from the Midwest—Louisville and Indianapolis—but apparently they like to keep where their native roots lie on the down-low. From their official website: “This 3-piece is hesitant to associate themselves with a 'scene' or geographic home base.” That’s sort of random, but their sound, mostly structured in lo-fi arrangements and fuzzy ambience, does evade locale-typifying. Brooklyn would be the first town to come to mind, but that’s because Brooklyn has blown up to become the reigning musical region that encompasses it all. And this record straddles that line, too, eluding classification, defying roots music, delivering something that, while certainly not groundbreaking, is well-executed and brims with promise for this young band’s future.

I hadn’t ever heard of the band before, and if I hadn’t moved past “We Ate the Bug”, the first, sleepy track on Heavy Hometown’s debut album, Action Figures, I never would have realized how many unassuming little gems live within the album’s 12 tracks. It’s not that my initial introduction was off-putting, per se; it’s completely inoffensive, but it made me think the rest of the album was full of the same ambient somnolence. But Action Figures contains a myriad of colors and styles, all tightly executed and polished, with just the right amount of indie-rock soul ensconced within its unpretentious shell. Think Montreal’s Plants and Animals but with less range and fanfare.

As the album unwinds, it becomes clear that the band is just now venturing out into the world as recording artists—namely because they try on a range of approaches, still undecided which one works best for them. But that’s okay, because nothing really sits too heavily as filler. This dissociation is due, in part, to the fact that two members trade vocal duties—Jon Wood (vox, guitar) and Corey Barnes (vox, drums)—and they sound very different, Wood with a sincere and cautious alto and Barnes with smooth, dark vocals that dip into baritone territory, like on “No Bodies.” With his bass/keyboard/synthesizer, Eric Park treats each song with a deliberate style and instrumental intention; their music ranges from depressive pop (“Microchiplove”) to sparkly Americana (“Black Bikini”) to fuzzy noise-rock (“Strange Wave”) to tender trumpet-strewn love ballads (“Haircut Chair”). That this band is only a trio is notable; the songs are vocally and instrumentally layered and rounded out. Heavy Hometown forsakes a stripped-down approach that one may expect from only three members.

Action Figures is a perfectly lovely encapsulation of an emerging band’s debut attempt to capture their music in the studio. It’s charming and solid, endearing in its sonic exploration, yet I can see it eluding most people this summer—self-releasing and limited touring no doubt keeps any band under the collective radar of most music fans. But according to their site: “This record captures a vision of an imperfect person, the reconciliation of attachment and detachment, the pleasure in suffering, and the understanding that one can be as much superhero as he is dope fiend.” Listen to Action Figures with that thematic vein in mind and I think you’ll root for them, too.
- Crawdaddy Magazine


Action Figures, the debut album by Indianapolis/Louisville band Heavy Hometown, conjures a hazy low-fi dreamworld inhabited by jangling, echoing guitar, rumbling bass and thudding drums. The album rolls and churns like early Yo La Tengo: incomplete, fragmented and edging towards psych-rock without ever losing a sense of melody or form.

Especially excellent is “Retreat City,” which shows off the talents of all three members. Jon Wood's smoky baritone is at its most mature and moving, supplemented by a short but beautiful guitar solo. Eric Parks, who plays electric piano, bass and synthesizers, delivers a stunning vintage synth that has a weightless feel. And, as on the whole album, Corey Barnes’ drumming is focused and precise.

But a few songs are forgettable, and while even these have their moments -- like the interplay between Barnes’ vocals and Wood’s guitar leads in the chorus of “Microchiplove” -- they feel less potent than the band’s other tracks.

Action Figures is an example of a decent LP that could’ve been a fantastic EP: The album’s short run time (just shy of 35 minutes) and the band’s less impressive tracks suggest that the band could have truncated their debut.
- Nuvo Newsweekly


Discography

Action Figures :: full-length CD :: released 7.15.09

Photos

Bio

Formed in early 2008, Heavy Hometown wasted no time jumping into the Midwestern live music scene. The band’s early performances left bewildered audiences wondering, "Who are these guys and where are they from?" These shows hinted at what the band's debut album, Action Figures, now proves: lo-fi can be charming, and good songs still matter.

Oddly enough, given the band has Hometown in their name, this 3-piece is hesitant to associate themselves with a 'scene' or geographic home base. Ask them where they're from, and you'll get brushed-off, if not blatantly lied-to (we're pretty sure the members live in Indianapolis and Louisville).

They're a song-oriented band that pulls from both the belly and the mind - an ambidexterity hard to come by. Utilizing two lead singers, this band has two distinct voices: one is vulnerable and open (Jon Wood) the other velveteen and guarded (Corey Barnes). With electric piano bass and vintage synthesizers, keyboardist Eric Park provides precise cohesion between the band's two disparate sides.

This record captures a vision of an imperfect person, the reconciliation of attachment and detachment, the pleasure in suffering, and the understanding that one can be as much superhero as he is dope fiend. That's where the Heavy comes in, and this is what Action Figures is all about.