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This Heat


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This Heat This Heat album cover
3.98 | 88 ratings | 8 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Testcard (0:48)
2. Horizontal Hold (6:56)
3. Not Waving (7:26)
4. Water (3:11)
5. Twilight Furniture (5:12)
6. 24 Track Loop (5:57)
7. Diet Of Worms (3:09)
8. Music Like Escaping Gas (3:41)
9. Rainforest (2:55)
10. The Fall Of Saigon (5:10)
11. Testcard (4:10)

Playing Time 48.35

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles Bullen / guitar, clarinet, viola, tapes, vocals
- Gareth Williams / keyboards, guitar, bass, tapes, vocals
- Charles Hayward / percussion, keyboards, tapes, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: This Heat

LP Piano ‎- THIS-1 (1979, UK)

CD These Records ‎- heat 1 c.d. (1991, UK) Remixed
CD This Is ‎- this is 1 (2006, UK) Original LP version, remastered in 2001/2

Thanks to syzygy for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THIS HEAT This Heat Music

THIS HEAT This Heat ratings distribution

(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THIS HEAT This Heat reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
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.

Review by LearsFool
5 stars A band caught somewhere between avant-prog, post-punk, and even the more experimental and darker side of early new wave, This Heat dropped two LPs that broke genre barriers with all the creative spark of a band from this millennium and with the chops to make them twin masterpieces. Progheads, punks, and industrial people all alike will find themselves challenged by the dour, angry, complex, and style-busting music contained within. The mix ends up creating a strange, dark, but excellent sound that guides you through the wreckage of humanity. Each track explores a different take on their overall style, often featuring unique instruments and instrumentation. "Deceit" is the greater album, but their self titled still remains a several times over impressive piece of genre and subculture defying avant garde music.
Review by Warthur
4 stars This Heat began recording this self-titled debut album in 1976, the year British punk exploded, and finished it in 1978, with post-punk well underway. Musically, it is as original, revolutionary and hostile as punk and as experimental as the most avant-garde post-punk; the closest point of comparison I can think of would be Public Image Ltd. at their most Krautrock-influenced moments on Metal Box, perhaps with certain influences creeping in from the likes of Henry Cow or Faust. I think the subsequent Deceit has the edge on this, but this complements the work on that album nicely and anyone interested in This Heat will sooner or later want to hear both.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I like what it says in the bio here that these three guys had short hair and wore second hand suits as they played live in the late seventies. They were a British act led by drummer Charles Hayward formerly of QUIET SUN, but the music here is far different from that band. Many felt that they were carrying on where FAUST left off at the time, and one of the bands who were huge fans back then of THIS HEAT were HENRY COW. Clarinet, viola and the usual instruments are featured here with all three guys using tapes so it's hard to tell at times what I'm hearing but as usual I'll try to describe what I think I hear.

"Testcard" starts and ends the album and it's just what the title says. "Horizontal Hold" has this heavy beat, an almost industrial rhythm that starts and stops. I like the speedy guitar strumming or is that viola being strummed after 2 minutes. Angular guitar follows with keyboards, a beat and more. A beat with electronics follows then intricate sounds start to come and go. Such a cool sounding track. "Not Waving" opens with organ-like sounds as viola joins in and it builds. Sounds drone until 2 minutes in when it settles right down. The clarinet kicks in before the vocals arrive, both continue and the vocals are avant sounding. Such an experimental backdrop to the vocals here. It's haunting late to end it. "Water" sounds nothing like you'd expect but instead we get random cow bell-like sounds and percussion throughout. The sound builds after 2 minutes as it turns quite powerful.

"Twilight Furniture" is a top three song for me. This is a more traditional song with a catchy beat as the guitar comes and goes. Vocals after a minute and they will also come and go. It settles late with viola. "24 Track Loop" is just that as sounds drone and an electronic-like beat takes over. More drones follow before an uptempo beat joins in. Clarinet is added before 4 minutes then it all settles back to end it. "Diet Of Worms" is grating with those high pitched sounds throughout. "Music Like Escaping Gas" is a top three track as sounds hum and start to build. Picked guitar after a minute then a throat is cleared before 2 minutes(haha) as windy sounds and vocals join in. It's just insane after 3 minutes. Great track! "Rainforest" has loud banging to start along with cymbals and atmosphere. It settles back some as a rhythm kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes to the end as it blends into "Fall Of Saigon" my final top three. Multi-vocals join in and they actually sound normal. They stop after 2 1/2 minutes. Check out the avant guitar expressions. Nice. The guitar speeds up late ripping it up big time.

Man this is a classic Avant album but I feel their followup "Deceit" is even better. A solid 4 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars There aren't too many bands in modern history who are cited for single handedly planting as many seeds from which many genres and sub-genres arose throughout the years and decades that followed, but the English band THIS HEAT is almost universally accepted for having done so. This band was formed in 1976 London by three multi-instrumentalists who were feeling the change in the music scene as it shifted from the progressive rock world of the early 70s to a more punk oriented one that followed. And although not a punk band per se, this trio was at the forefront of this changing of the guards and co-existed with bands like the Sex Pistols during the same time frame. Whereas the punk rockers opted for simplifying their musical approach to garage rock simplicity that allowed for instant accessibility and connection, THIS HEAT on the other hand proved to take things to much more challenging levels and instead of rejecting the prog rock that came before, found ways to bridge it with similar elements of punk and take the strange union to even more experimental heights through shrewd tape loop and electronic manipulations.

The band arose when Gareth Williams (keyboards, guitar, bass, tapes, vocals) met Charles Hayward (keyboards, tapes, vocals and ex-drummer for Quiet Sun) and Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, tapes, vocals) while working in a London record shop and made their acquaintances through their mutual admiration of music. After Williams proved himself to be a brilliant lyricist and insane bassist and keyboardist, the trio began to rehearse their strange new experiments which were inspired by various Krautrock bands like Can and Faust, the angular avant-prog of Henry Cow as well as musique concrète which inspired inventive tape-loop experimentation that found the band fascinated with random erroneously produced sounds that they were generating through their inexperience. The band also fostered a great admiration for the reggae and ska producer Lee "Scratch" Perry whose innovative scratching, recording and tape manipulation magic became legend in the reggae and dub universe.

The band presciently predicted the punk rock scene taking off with the decline of prog rock and provided a parallel universe type of counter-punk that utilized the similar guitar sounds however their true punk power would peak only on their second album "Deceit." These results became a focus on an eerily cold and detached yet politically charged style that not only predicted the subsequent post-punk explosion that was just around the corner but also provided the fertile sonic explorations that would lay the ground for dark industrial that bands like Einstürzende Neubauten who would make it their own in the 80s. Add to that the bizarre noise rock that emanated from their brash explorative nature into bizarre new sonicscapes, THIS HEAT provided a blueprint for noise rock bands such as Sonic Youth as well as a prototype framework for what would become post-rock via the likes of Glenn Branca and ultimately to the explosion of the style that Talk Talk would nurture into the 90s. All this fertile creativity didn't go unnoticed for too long and after a mere demo tape being sent to the great John Peel, this contact found them releasing their eponymously titled debut album, affectionately and colloquially referred to as "Blue And Yellow" in 1979 after three busy years of recording.

Through the run of THIS HEAT's debut album is a surprisingly diverse and accomplished range of sounds replete with post-punk and industrial sounds that find themselves in the company of reggae syncopations, Krautrock motorik rhythmic marches, early post-rock compositional styles that emphasize a slow gradual ascent to a climactic crescendo and alien sounding almost Heldon-esque electronic sounds which sputter about and then transmogrify into something completely different. The sheer amount of different spooky and grueling noise effects on board is completely off the charts with eerie phantasmic Twilight zone oscillations dueling it out with freaked out electronic manipulations. This is the stuff nightmares are made of in much the same way that the contemporary avant-prog band Univers Zero was conjuring up in the world of the chamber rock ensemble. "Music Like Escaping Gas" for example sounds like the darkened moody experimentalism from "Heresie."

THIS HEAT was the collaboration of three hard working music nerds who spent countless hours in the studio perfecting their experimental craft, a studio created from a former meat locker from a closed factory, the perfect venue to channel the cold, lifeless spirits that the music exudes in full mindf.u.ckery. While this debut as well as every THIS HEAT album that was released during their initial run proved to be a little too far ahead for the public to comprehend, predictably sold very poorly but the band managed to attract a loyal cult following. As the decades ensued not he other hand, the band proved to be a major influence for a huge number of musicians and bands including but hardly limited to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Animal Collective, Massive Attack, Public Image Ltd, Radiohead, Swans, Shellac, Lightning Bolt and the aforementioned bands that found a nice home in the industrial aisles at the music market. THIS HEAT have since been deemed musical geniuses far ahead of their time with music so unique that it still sounds as fresh today as it must've all those years ago. If this was the only album they made i'd give this 5 stars but as good as it is, "Deceit" is so much better. But close to perfection this one is. Very, very close.

4.5 but rounded down

Latest members reviews

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 influe ... (read more)

Report this review (#114540) | Posted by mixmastermorris | Thursday, March 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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