HEAVY WATER (Biff Byford) – Red Brick City (2021)
HEAVY WATER’s debut album ”Red Brick City” is the result of a lockdown 2020 project between Saxon’s Biff Byford and his son Seb Byford, ten songs that bring you on an irrepressible raw blues-backed journey through influences and invention, a journey that has you hooked from the first note.
In many ways HEAVY WATER’s sound takes me back to the seminal years of Seventies hard rock, others makes you think of a lost recording from an obscure British band from the era. However, Biff and his son are capable to unison the past with the present.
No stranger to the creating music, Seb Byford has been the vocalist and guitarist for the three-piece band Naked Six for over five years. Joining forces, Biff and Seb formed HEAVY WATER as a Heavy Blues Rock based band where Biff is on bass, Seb is on guitar, and both men alternate performing lead vocals.
Joining the proud father-son duo, Heavy Water also consists of Dave Kemp on keyboard and saxophone while Naked Six Drummer, Tom Witts, rounds out the band.
Red Brick City kicks off with the Heavy Blues Rock of “Solution.” Though Blues Rock based, this track pounds with Hard Rock edges while Biff and Seb’s vocals compliment the music well. Melodic with a darker style, “Turn to Black” features Kemp’s bright keyboard work as the track stays a bit slow with heavy bursts of Rock.
Sticking with Blues based Rock, HEAVY WATER next offers the dark and sludgy “Red Brick City” followed by a ballad with a poetic sounding title, “Tree in the Wind.”
Enter a rebellious tune, “Revolution,” one of the stand out tracks, incorporating pulsating effects for the dawn of a new day.
As Red Brick City rolls on, HEAVY WATER also offers some different approaches on their style, showing a different side of the band. Take, for instance, “Personal Issue No. 1” with catchy hooks but more in the vein of Modern Rock, as is the next track, “Medicine Man.”
Going further into the opposite of dark Blues Rock, “Follow This Moment” has a sunny harmony and a jazzy saxophone piece. Back to the Blues, the last two tracks return to Heavy Water’s roots as “Now I’m Home” is a comfy, slow number, while “Faith” goes for the type of 1980s style Blues that would make Eric Clapton proud.
After listening to Red Brick City, there is not one reason why a Rock fan shouldn’t go out and tell their friends about the debut album by a new project called HEAVY WATER. Overall, the ten tracks which make up Red Brick City show two solid musical sides to Biff and Seb Byford.
The Heavy Blues based tracks fit very well the band and for those who have not heard Seb sing before, you should be quite pleased.
All in all, Red Brick City is a strong debut and worth diving into.
01 – Solution
02 – Turn to Black
03 – Red Brick City
04 – Tree in the Wind
05 – Revolution
06 – Personal Issue No. 1
07 – Medicine Man
08 – Follow This Moment
09 – Now I’m Home
10 – Faith
Seb Byford – Guitar and Vocals
Biff Byford – Bass and Vocals
Tom Witts – Drums
Dave Kemp – Keyboards, Saxophone