Topshelf Records [Release date 20.01.17]
We all have bands that we love. Sometimes we even love bands enough to wish that there were more bands that sound like the one we love. However, as soon as a new band appears that sounds like our favourite band, we scream “rip off”, or “unoriginal”, or “they’re not as good”. How does that work?
On first listen to opening track “City Limits”, it’s not hard to draw comparisons with others. A heavier darker Airbourne, Toxic Event possibly? Vocally Heat lean more towards The Quireboys end of the scale. With an extra bottle of whiskey or two consumed the night before.
But to assess this album on the above resemblances alone is unfair and doesn’t do it justice. There is enough going on here musically to appreciate that the sum of all the individual parts work a lot better than they would individually. The two guitarists utilise just enough effects and provide contrasting variation to keep riff focused listeners happy. But it is the vocal delivery that pulls everything together and gets you involved.
Opening track “City Limits” is punchy and is ideal for cruising with the windows down. With first single “Lush”, don’t let the lighter upbeat introduction lull you into a false sense of security. Normal service is resumed soon enough with a fine helping of weighted guitar and trademark throaty vocals. Spacey “Cold Hard Morning Light” cranks up the distortion and wouldn’t be out of place on a shoegaze compilation.
Heat have a unique sound that sometimes batters, and at other times soothes. But it is also a sound that gets better and better with repeated listens. ****
Review by Simon Harvey
Recommended tracks: Lush, Cold Hard Morning Light
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