The Heavy Hands: Album Release Preview

We exist in a musical wasteland with a continual trove of repeating chords and recycled choruses, an existence spurned by a formulaic approach to phonic renderings that used to contain weight and substance. This is an admittedly heavy-handed opening—but we felt it appropriate when writing about John Tipton and The Heavy Hands, a band formed out of a Frisco-based after-school music program at which the musicians taught (and which is quite appropriately named “School of Rock.”) That’s where lead vocalist and guitarist, Tipton, met drummer/vocalist Zach Wiese and bassist/vocalist Colin Wiese. The band formed there and began playing small venues, eventually booking bigger and bigger gigs.

Commitment to form really comes across in their upcoming album, which we had the pleasure of personally previewing. It is full of big, Texas rock & roll sound. It punches you directly, holds on tight, and draws you into their world of darkness. This album is two years in the making after an EP release that led them to the Redwood recording studio in Denton—Redwood being known, of course, for their repertoire of amazingly talented artists. Tipton and The Heavy Hands use word-of-mouth and their “the more you play, the more you play” mantra to keep them busy from gig to gig.

The Heavy Hands like to experiment and leave themselves open to improvisation during live shows and throughout their recording process; however, they’re always mindful of approaching deadlines. Since they’ve been playing the songs for so long now, they’ve given themselves leeway in the studio, which shows through gloriously in the tracks. John also mentions that it is okay to give yourself permission to write poorly: “You’re working out the muscles that you need to make something good,” he explains. We appreciate a band that’s willing to take risks and fail till they get it right. And that’s actually the advice that Tipton would give to fledgling bands. “There is a time for waiting and a time for being patient,” he says, “but you have to learn a thousand ways to not make a light bulb before you succeed…go for it. Fall on your face.”

There is no falling here. This release will freshen up any proverbially desolate musical landscape and will surely add to the ever-growing, massive lineup of talent that Denton sees each year. You will be doing yourself a favor in giving this up-and-coming band your time and attention.

"Last Call" is a track off their upcoming album that will be released at the Jagoe House on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Photo by Rico DeLeon
Header image design by Jason Lee