Album review: H.E.A.T. – Live at Sweden Rock Festival

H.E.A.T.- Live at Sweden Rock Festival

Release Date 26.07.19

It’s not that long since H.E.A.T. released a live album recorded at London’s own Highbury Garage, but this release serves two purposes. One is to showcase the standard bearers of the younger breed of melodic rockers on home soil.

The other is to capture the moment when their live set heavily featured the controversial ‘into the great Unknown’ album, which was already being marginalised when I saw them support first the Quireboys then Skid Row in the last 12 months.

They open with ‘Bastard Of Society’ from the latter release, though the recording seems a bit thin with only really vocal and guitar, though the mix on most of the rest of the album sounds fine. It definitely captures the HEAT live experience as you can hear livewire singer Erik Gronwall improvising excitedly and shouting to get the crowd involved.

After ‘Late Night Lady’, one of the few survivors from the pre-Erik albums and ‘Mannequin Show’, featuring some extravagant synthesiser work from Jonah Tee, comes the ‘who-oah –oah’ intro to ‘Heartbreaker’, making me wish I’d been there at that moment!

The 13 song set includes a further trio from ‘Into The Great Unknown’ in ‘Redefined’,  ‘Shit City’ and the epic ‘Eye Of The Storm’ alongside the more familiar ‘Tearing Down The Walls’.  ‘Beg Beg Beg’ has always been for me their weakest live track but here it is again, though the medley with ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Piece of My Heart’ doubtless went down well with a casual festival following.

There is one bizarre aspect to the album though which is that all the between song chat is in Swedish. While it is a touch xenophobic to complain at anyone’s right to use their native tongue on home soil, it limits the international appeal of the album and maybe should just have been cut out.

The album closes with four anthems from the previous two albums in ‘Emergency’, ‘Inferno’, my favourite ‘Living On The Run’ and ‘A Shot at Redemption’. They are significantly more raw and ragged than their studio counterparts, which is as a live album should be. Indeed this representation of their high-energy live show will keep the pot ticking over very nicely before the next album.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan

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