July 19, 2021 Heavy Water – Red Brick City (Album Review)
As a veteran of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal for over 40 years, Biff Byford remains the stalwart frontman and vocalist of Saxon, one of the hardest working bands in the business. In the storm of a lockdown, music became a family affair when Biff and his son, Seb Byford, began writing for a new project called Heavy Water. A year later, father and son are proud to announce the debut album from Heavy Water, Red Brick City, will be released on Friday, July 23, 2021 via Silver Lining Music.
No stranger to the creating music, Seb Byford has been the vocalist and guitarist for the three-piece Indie/Grunge/Punk/Rock 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.
Super proud of this new project, Biff and Seb have stated: “We decided to do something together in these dark times and the family came together to help get this album off the ground. We had great fun doing this album, working together on the songs, and recording during lockdown. It’s all recorded without samples or profiles… just loud and proud!”
An intriguing new album, 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 an Alternative Rock 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 are very favorable 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. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock awards Red Brick City 4 out of 5 stars.