Heavy Is The Head, the first record from alternative rock act Sullivan since 2007, is a gripping and cunning rock record — a collection of songs both strong and uplifting.
The record contains the type of balance a listener should expect from a band coming off a 7-year hiatus; it’s full and poignant from beginning to finish. It’s replenishing, refreshing and non-reprehensible in all the ways a record should be — a true showcase of what can manifest after a good, long break.
The record gleams with numbers such as “Where The Pavement Meets The Road.” This track captures the essence of the entire record through its unapologetic, yet undeniably addictive verses and bombastic choruses. It’s the type of track that embodies the overall energy of the record — sticking with the listener long after a first or second listen.
With Heavy In THe Head, Sullivan delivers a type of alternative rock that channels the late ‘00s al la Armor for Sleep or Anberlin — songs like “Higher Ground” and “The Other Side,” both mirror the sound of a generation lost, a mixture of in-your-face pop and downright rock ‘n’ roll. The same could be said for the record’s opening number, “You Don’t Mean It.” This number creates a sense of urgency and immediacy with the opener — setting the pace for the 10 tracks to come. The band fights with both the pop and rock world without committing to one or the other, making lovers of both worlds happy.
The album’s closing track, “Playing With Fire,” proves the band can finish a record as strong as they start one. The track is a booming pop anthem, leaving nothing on the table. Laced with pure emotion and packaged with angst, this short and sweet closer is the high note of an overall complete comeback release.
The only downfall for Heavy Is The Head, comes when the band leans more toward a pop-driven song. Songs like “Melanoma Lullaby” and “Profile” would be fitting for a The Maine b-side, but seem to feel forced on a record that is otherwise packs a punch. A minor shortfall for an overall great release.
Heavy Is The Head is a great release from a band showing that, despite 7 years of silence, there is still plenty of good music left to be written. It is the band’s most complete effort to date. Don’t sleep on the new Sullivan record, it has the power and potential to grab you and send you into a lustful listen of likeable tunes.