1993 Arista Records
Punishing your sorry woofers with a tight and punchy sound somewheres between Stone Temple Pilots and Gruntruck (via Inside Yours, albeit with a less watery sound), Stick delivers a disc that simply stands the test of time. Even better than some of their better known contemporaries at the time.
Heavy Bag was one of those discs I remember from back in my days at 100.7FM The Tiger in Baton Rouge, but I never got to know it well until recently…16 years after the fact. I remember Dave “Dave In The Dark” Sorge telling me what a cool disc it was and adding lead single “No Groovy” to our playlist. For some reason, I never got around to listening to it fully back then.
Listening to it on my MP3 player on the way to work for the past 3 days, I find myself discovering quite the sleeper disc here. Choruses cook with an insistant slow burn rather than boiling over immediately, making this a disc that is very conducive to repeated listens repeated listens repeated listens repeated listens.
Leadoff track “Grind,” while being okay, is the track I find to be the weak link. From there, it’s on to the aforementioned infectious “No Groovy,” which will grab you and grow on you more each time you listen.
The tracks that really drew me into this disc, though are personal fave “Stoning” (which many thought would have made a better single than “No Groovy”), “Fuel” and “Conditional,” each with those choruses that work in a more subtle way…more mantra-esque than sing-along and always inviting you to keep coming back for another good listen.
And that’s the beauty of Heavy Bag, as “Disposable,” “Zero” and closer “Taught To Lose” all are worth your time and ultimately make this one of those discs you can just put on and let it play. Some have compared this lot to Helmet or Korn; however, the vocals are more melodic a la Scott Weiland and the riffs aren’t as broken or stacatto. See the description in the first paragraph.
The hooks are many, simmering their way into a permanent spot in your conscience, the guitar sound is wet, the grooves are tight and it just plain works.
My only complaint here is for brevity, the whole smear clocking in at 38 minutes and some-odd seconds. Small complaint for an album from the grunge age that proudly stands the test of time, still sounding strangely fresh yet familiar at the same time.
Timeless quality to the sound and the songs…and you can find it for just ridiculously cheap prices online ($2 – $3), though it’s well worth full price.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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