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THIS HEAT

This Heat

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This Heat's 1979 debut, paintakingly recorded over the previous two and a half years, was an astonishing piece of work, and This Heat were to exert an influence out of all proportion to their modest album sales.

There are a few obvious points of reference. Faust and Can were clearly influential, both in terms of the music (particularly Hayward's drumming) and the use of the recording studio and taped sources. The vocals and lyrics owe something to Robert Wyatt, and there's also something of Henry Cow's sheer out-there otherness. Aside from that, This Heat were something unique in the post-punk musical landscape of the late 70s and early 80s. They had musical abilities to match or exceed most prog bands, but played with an intensity and ferocity that owed more to punk and recorded using techniques generally heard on dub reggae. Other bands were using some of these elements, but none so inventively or with such a single minded vision and sense of purpose. In some ways they were very much of their time, but like a lot of the best RIO and Krautrock they still sound fresh and relevant today.

The obvious stand out tracks are the frenzied, drum powered workouts Horizontal Hold, Twilight Furniture and The Fall Of Saigon, but the quieter moments like Not Waving and Water are equally compelling. It's not as coherent as their masterpiece Deceit, and the final 3 minutes of Test Card go on longer than is strictly necessary, but this is a powerful album from one of the most genuinely progressive bands of the last 40 years. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#84694)
Posted Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

Of all the groups you will find in our beloved ProgArchives, This Heat is along with Faust and Henry Cow, the hardest and most uncompromising ever. Don't look for "real" music here (that is songs with beats, lyrics and melodies), but more of a "musique concrete" or industrial rock that only has irregular rhythm patterns, repetitive sequences and highly unlikely sounds ever thought to make music. Am I exaggerating a bit? Well, maybe just a tad, forcing the character traits a wee bit in order to make my point solidly understood.

As much as RIO is already an extreme form of music, as much as This Heat's music is an extreme form of RIO, which unlike what some might think, does not showcase extreme musicianship (at least not in terms of virtuosity), but is extremely adventurous and experimental. While I hold this type of music (as well Faust's) in high regards, I must say that I was never tempted to own it, because there is a blatant problem of repeated listenings, which is simply not cutting it with me. This type of albums gets maybe two listens in a row every second decade (time was up; hence these TH reviews ;-) but hardly anymore. TH is one of those influential bands that record sales will never show.

Hard to really recommend this type of record on a wide-spectrum site, but let it be known that I have recommended This Heat to a few House Music freaks, which were dying for stuff like this.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#113088)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply one of the most outrageous and brilliant albums in the history of rock. Like Marmite you either love it or hate it, but there's really nothing quite like it. It's the missing link between Krautrock and post-punk experimentation, brutal in parts and mesmeric in others, and it clearly influenced many bands since. Now remastered its aural assault is shocking even 30 years later. An essential purchase for those with adventurous tastes!

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Send comments to mixmastermorris (BETA) | Report this review (#114540)
Posted Thursday, March 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Moderator / Psych Team
4 stars Whoa! This sound strikes me with remarkable earache! (Of course, as a good meaning)

Beyond my expectation...This Heat had broken the progressive rock world. At the beginning of the album, there's faint electric sound in my ear. Suddenly, exploded noise (I consider it's not so-called sound!) grasps my brain. What an avantgarde production! Into the noise, lazy and weak voice comes and then let me feel depressive...after that, attacking me are the scattered percussive components. Again and again they hit, blow and squeeze my heart. What a violent work! At the last part...exotic melody and drumming go streaming, then the faint electric sound, that came previously, fades out and disappears.

I cannot recommend the product to persons who like symphonic progressive rock. That's so natural. I'm sure the album brought a revolution for progressive rock music. As the revolutionary of Avant-prog, 4 stars I wanna give.

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#194203)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 | Review Permalink

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