Having dreams is important. Being able to escape the humdrum drag of life is sometimes all we have to survive it. Then again, a healthy, humorous dose of reality can remind us things aren’t so bad after all. Heavyball are bringing you just that with their all British, all complaining new album, When Can You Start?
Listen to lead track, ‘Top of Your Game’, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGBsK4I7pTo
When Can You Start? brings the modern-day problems of Brexit, cost of living and nuclear war into an 80s world, being a twelve-track water cooler story mixed with complaints about your boss and the weather. The album follows a week in the life of an office worker, a tale as old as time we all know even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves. Tracks like ‘Top of Your Game’ introduces our protagonist as someone who once had big dreams that are now being suffocated by the confines of their cubicle. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, with other tracks having a hint of hope. Heavyball have taken the life of the working man, mixed it with the humour from Only Fools and Horses and played it to a sound akin to Madness.
Heavyball was formed in Nottingham in 2011 by Bigface (vocals and guitar) and his brother Habs (drums), later joined by Johnny Iball on bass and Tom ‘Stone Cold’ Frost on lead guitar. Although the band have worked hard to establish a distinctive sound, their music appeals less to fans of a particular genre and more to fans of a particular music style. When Can You Start?, as previously mentioned, takes on more of a story-telling style that sucks you into the life of the created protagonist. The ups and downs of average life are fully captured in songs like ‘The Perils of Midweek Drinking’ and ‘Office Party.’
‘The Perils of Midweek Drinking’ is a toe tapping, guitar shredding tune about the indulgences we all allow ourselves when the week just becomes too much. The song tells the tale of the brief weakness we have before the suffering endured the next day when work comes around once more. The track is a jumping, tumbling downhill spiral into the rituals of the week with a skilled guitar solo and thumping drum beat that might be enough to get you up for work the next day. Whilst ‘Office Party’ is a jaunty tune of trying to find the bright side of life only for it all to go wrong. The track captures the moody, dry tone of British humour where we always expect the worst. The fast pace of the track gives the impression of time slipping away as the character repeats the same routine day in and day out, even referring to the event as ‘another’ office party.
Heavyball have already received high praise from many fans and known personalities such as Chris Hawkins from Radio 6 who has dubbed them ‘one of the best live bands.’ With this praise and the comical genius of their new album, Heavyball have produced something we can all relate to in some way and take something away for ourselves. By creating a character for the audience to follow through songs adds a personal touch that really connects with listeners as they apply it to their own lives. When Can You Start? offers dead end jobs, failed dreams and personal triumphs we can all share in and laugh the pain away.
Review by Skye W. Winwood