Music Is In Their Blood

Each member of San Diego six-piece the Heavy Guilt brings something different to the table, but they all come together to create something new.

Formed in 2009, the Heavy Guilt is about to release In the Blood, their second album. In the Blood sees the band refining its sound -- taking full advantage of a sophisticated studio environment and a couple years working together. According to the band, "The songs from the first album [Lift Us Up from This] had a campfire feel to them, warm as the pops and crackles of old vinyl. In the Blood is born from the dive bar."

The new album does have a "dive bar" feel, but it's more polished than one might expect. Musically, songs like album opener "It's Time" and midpoint "Wyoming" evoke the swampy blues of later Bob Dylan; "Blistered Hands" has a dark, Doorsy feel; album closer "Fallen" has an indie-rock/Shins-like quality.

It's not all about who the Heavy Guilt sound like, however. On each song, the band members' talents shine beyond their influences: richly layered keys and guitars are omnipresent; lead singer Erik Canzona delivers thoughtful and fresh lyrics, with a voice that can be at times a growl and at others a harmonious duet with drummer Jenny Merullo; Sean Martin plays guitar with fury; percussionist/lyricist Alfred Howard uses found objects to help achieve a unique sound.

The band celebrates the release of In the Blood this Saturday, July 16 at the Glashaus. Gun Runner and Black Sands will open. Sponsored by San Diego art and literary project The Latent Print, the all-ages Barrio Logan event will also feature original drawings by Alexander Jackson and Joseph Bowman. You can (and should) RSVP here.

T. Loper is a writer and photographer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.

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