Better Than Heavy Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The debut album for the group fronted by Reverend and The Makers' Jon McClure, featuring Joe Moskow; Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders and Andy Nicholson; Babyshambles' Drew McConnell; and UK hip-hop artist Lowkey.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. 60
    Laced with grime squelches, riot-inducing raps and dark dub, it tackles gun crime, political deceit and terrorism--but also features enough tunes to sugar the pill. [Mar 2009, p.87]
  2. So while the agit-prop lyrics say little new, the best tracks--'Barcode,' 'Hit From The Morning Sun,' 'Julian' and the title track--are convincingly atmospheric. [Mar 2009, p.102]
  3. 40
    This lot recall mid-'90s crusty combos like Senser and Back To The Planet, their politics naive and hectoring, their music, frankly, pretty ghastly. [Apr 2009, p.108]
  4. Even at best, though, something rings false about Better Than Heavy. It never sounds like a self-funded album made by angry people.
  5. Unfortunately for the oh-so-cleverly named Mongrel are nothing more than a patronising exercise in telling the poor listener what they already know: that governments can be corrupt, war on the whole is not pleasant and we all have a right to freedom.
  6. Lazy attempts at grime and rapcore are consigned to the doghouse courtesy of some well-meant but terrible political raps.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 18, 2011
    It is an alternative record aimed at appealing to a wide audience of kids and grown ups/lower class and middle class/black and white etc. Unfortunately there is too much experimentation which devalues the record and makes it feel like a glorified demo. Lowkey (the rapper) is nothing less than superb throughout the whole record however this only reinforces how weak the songwriting is. There is enough here to warrant a good record yet together they haven't been able to make one. 65/100 Expand