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This Heat Deceit album cover
4.31 | 132 ratings | 9 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sleep (2:15)
2. Paper Hats (6:03)
3. Triumph (2:56)
4. SPQR (3:29)
5. Cenotaph (4:40)
6. Shrink Wrap (1:41)
7. Radio Prague (2:22)
8. Makeshift Swahili (4:05)
9. Independence (3:43)
10. A New Kind Of Water (4:58)
11. Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease) (4:04)

Total Time: 40:16

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Artwork: Laurie-Rae Chamberlain with Studio 54 (design)

LP Rough Trade ‎- ROUGH 26 (1981, UK)

CD These Records ‎- HEAT 2 CD (1991, UK)
CD These Records ‎- THIS 2 (2001, UK) Remastered

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

THIS HEAT Deceit ratings distribution

(132 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

THIS HEAT Deceit reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars (This review is partly based on the informative booklet accompanying the Out Of Cold Storage box set)

Deceit was This Heat's second studio album and their final release before they split in 1982. It's more song based than their debut and is also closer to mainstream rock music, in the same way that Faust So Far is, on the surface at least, more accessible than Faust. It's also a concept album that is both very much of its time and timeless - the themes it explores remain relevant today, and some of the songs have become even more apposite in the last 25 years.

The main theme of the album is the fear of nuclear war that permeated popular culture in the 1980s. Ronald Reagan in the United States and Mrs Thatcher in the UK had ushered in a new right wing consensus and the arms race between the USA and its allies on one side and the USSR and its satellites on the other had accelerated. From Mad Max's cinematic vision of a post apocalyptic wasteland to Prince urging "Ronnie Talk To Russia" to Boy George singing the exceedingly stupid "War" nuclear paranoia was everywhere, and membership of CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) reached record levels. This was the backdrop to Deceit, arguably the sharpest and most intelligent musical response that the era produced.

James Joyce once said that "History is a nightmare from which we are trying to awaken" and this album is a graphic evocation of that nightmare. It starts innocuously enough with 'Sleep', a lullabye whose lyrics are taken from popular advertising jingles of the time, all sung in Canterbury style voices over one of Hayward's characteristic drum patterns. The TV lulls us into a dream state, then Paper Hats enters in a burst of sound and fury. Over the kind of claustrophobic arrangement that had been heard on pieces like Horizontal Hold, the lyrics take an oblique sideswipe at the UK government's ridiculous (though well intentioned) pamphlet Protect and Survive, a handy guide to surviving a nuclear attack. The music then continues to shift and mutate via This Heat's own dream logic into the comparatively tranquil Triumph, a brief meditation on urban alienation which namechecks Leni Riefenstahl's notorious propaganda film of the Nuremburg rally (the TV is still playing as we sleep; what ideas are being planted in our subconcious?). This segues into SPQR (Latin ' Senatus Populusque Romanus' - 'The Senate and the Roman People', emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions), a brutal and intense 2 chord krautrocker that tells us 'We are all Romans' and paints a picture of belligerent imperialism, a point firmly underscored by Cenotaph, a mournful and moving tribute to the annual ceremony where veterans of the two World Wars gather for Remembrance Sunday that reminds us that 'History repeats itself' and pointedly refers to 'The war to end all wars/And the war after that'. This track closed side 1 of the vinyl original on a sombre note.

The second half of the album opens with Shrink Wrap, a kind of reprise of Sleep in which the dreamer realises that the mass media cannot be trusted; 'You lie you lie/Wolf in sheep's clothing'. The lullabye is twisted into a new, grotesque form propelled by Hayward's powerhouse drumming, before giving way to Radio Prague, a sound collage/group improv incorporating a snippet from Radio Prague that the band later discovered was a flood warning. Makeshift Swahili follows, a bitter attack on cultural imperialism and the exploitation of indigenous peoples which musically is a distant relative of art school new wavers Wire. This leads into Independence, a recitation of the American Declaration of Independence over a musical backdrop which apparently quotes Ennio Morricone's western soundtracks. The sound here is lighter and airier than the slightly oppressive feel of much of the album. The intention, successfully realised, was to evoke images of a cowboy (Ronald Reagan had made numerous westerns) while simultaneously citing the noble ideals on which the USA was founded. The dream ends with A New Kind Of Water which refers to 'New York, Moscow, Nairobi in flames' before admitting 'I don't know either, what is the answer'. The song is another tightly arranged trio performance which gives way abruptly to the bleak sound collage of Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease). The dreamer has awoken to realise that the nightmare has come true, and the world is a post apocalyptic wasteland, the only musical sounds being a brief melodica refrain and a bell (from Lambeth Town Hall clock) chiming in the distance.

Unlike many other songs and albums which explored similar themes, Deceit offers no easy answers; while This Heat were firmly in the anti nuclear camp, the juxtaposition of Triumph and Cenotaph is a tacit acknowledgement that armed conflict can be a necessary evil, and Independence makes the crucial distinction between criticism of the then president of the USA and the ideals of the great nation that he led. Musically it's a remarkable piece of work, with constantly shifting moods and textures and some remarkable multi instrumental performances. Charles Hayward's drumming is precise and powerful and Charles Bullen plays guitar with a discipline and focus that never conceals his remarkable talent. Gareth Williams was still the wild card, but had also matured into a solid bass player which made for some breathtaking ensemble playing in places - the lengthy coda to Paper hats being a particular highlight.

5 stars for this album. It's a deep, brilliantly realised conceptual piece in which musicians with progressive backgrounds and sensibilities engaged with their times and picked up the gauntlet thrown down by the punk/new wave revolution. Essential listening.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Second album from this incredible trio, which does a mix of RIO and "musique concrète" (almost industrial) and is obviously one of the tougher groups present in this database to get into. If you can believe it, this album is easy, but only compared to the rest of their discography. The group actually use the song format on this album: there are obvious rhythms, and even semblance of melodies, although my guess is that as a "normal proghead" (one that listens to average prog in the sense of symphonic), if you were to try out this album, you'd probably call the loony bin to reserve a spot for this writer. But I wouldn't call this pop music either, but somehow, we are not that far away from Killing Joke and other more "obtuse" (in a good way) and experimental bands of the early 80's.

Clearly taking where Faust had left it (especially with Tapes), TH is using tapes for a good part of their music, a bit as nowadays many just sample sounds, but as opposed to their previous recording, vocals are very present in this album and again one thinks of KJ, but as you'll easily guess, TH is a much more aesthetic band. Hayward's drumming is still the centre of the sound, and may be the best instrumentalist of the group. Bullen (who was never a musician before this band) is making good progress, while both he and Hayward play some guitar and this clearly adds a dimension as evident on the Independence track, which is the highlight of this disc. Probably one of the better albums out of England that year, it certainly sounds its era, but compared to the new wave groups that were flooding the airwaves, TH buries them all.

Should you really want to investigate This Heat, this album is the place to start, but as I stopped with this album, I wouldn't know with further albums are in the same direction. This only thing I can tell you is that this is far from their previous recordings (this includes their debut, but the Repeat album made of recordings prior to their first album). In either case, this album is the one I prefer from this group.

Review by Warthur
5 stars The missing link between post-punk, new wave, industrial music and RIO, Deceit's This Heat takes the work of Talking Heads, late-period Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Art Zoyd, Metal Box-era Public Image Limited, Throbbing Gristle and does terrible, horrifying things to them to create a bizarre new hybrid. This is what you'd get if World War III broke out in 1981 and you tried to reconstruct punk rock or progressive rock from the tiny fragments of your blown-out local record store. Combining intriguing musicianship with avant-garde tape manipulations and bleak soundscapes, the album even points the way towards the bleaker and more frightening landscapes of post-rock. A true breakthrough.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. THIS HEAT are an incredible Avant band out of the UK, and this is their second studio album released in 1981. The biggest surprise for me was that the drummer and leader is none other than Charles Hayward who was the drummer for QUIET SUN's "Mainstream" album. The cover art is classic as well but what about the music? Well I was reminded of FAUST more than any other band with those industrial sounding rhythms and how experimental this can get with all the tape loops(all 3 members use tapes). Still this has structured songs throughout the album but it is left of center in a big way. The lyrics are very political and at times angry reminding me of ART BEARS and HENRY COW.

"Sleep" is a short track just over 2 minutes that comes across as a demented lullaby for the insane. A mechanical rhythm here as reserved vocals sing about sleep. "Paper Hats" is cool with the guitar and a beat as the mono-toned vocals come in. He does scream blue murder(haha) at times. This is catchy though and the tempo picks up after 2 minutes before it settles to this really good sound before 3 minutes to the end. "Triumph" is experimental with accordion to start then we get clarinet? leading the way with intricate percussion sounds helping out. Vocals replace the clarinet 2 minutes in. The vocals do sound odd here. "SPQR" has an uptempo beat with over-lapping guitar like the way The Edge does it from U2. Vocals join in this deliberate sounding tune. "Cenotaph" is almost like a dirje and the subject matter is Remembrance Day. Vocals before a minute and they are a little different. It ends in an experimental way.

"Shrink Wrap" sounds like it was pieced together, it's an interesting track with some humerous vocals and words. Another mechanical rhythm here. "Radio Prague" has fast paced pulsating sounds with experimental noises and words. "Makeshift Swahili" is one of my favourites. Atmosphere as this cool sounding guitar comes in. Check out the demented vocals. Wow! An insane but incredible song. It changes around 2 minutes to a more normal sounding section then it picks up. Intense. "Independance" has the American Declaration of Independance being recited over an intricate instrumental display. An eastern feel comes in at times. "A New Kind Of Water" is another favourite of mine. A beat with guitar and more as the vocals join in. It kicks in to a fuller sound around a minute. What a great sound before 2 1/2 minutes with vocals. I love this section that goes on and on until the end. The final track is an experimental piece with church bells and various strange noises. Man this truly deserves the hype i've read from Avant fans around the globe. A must for you Rio/Avant fans.

Review by LearsFool
5 stars In the dank depths of an old, abandoned cold storage room in punk and Thatcher era Brixton, a band who cared not for the mantra of the English punks - that prog = bad - once again blended RIO and post-punk into a lost treasure of both genres. Their theme: nuclear war. From what is remembered as a bleak and dour time, we hear the band's own mantra - sleep sleep sleep go to sleep - before our three genius madmen guide us forcefully by the arm through visions of a nuclear wasteland, the first album's semi-ruins bombed to oblivion, dragging us past unspeakable horrors with their freakish but masterful music. What little hints of new wave and pure krautrock they once had vanish, with a pure mix of what everyone at the time thought were mortal and permanent enemies of music triumphing, and cackling at their folly. The guitar on this record is perfect for the themes, moods, and styles the band exhibits; it is just unstoppable. The keys and tapes round out the main sound, and ensure that the album feels like armageddon and its aftermath. The drums stick out as well, and a lot of the time it feels as high in the mix as "Tago Mago"'s kick drums were... a doubly wonderful inspiration. Even with the krautrock musical influences gone, the band must've had Can's opus, their own crazed rumination on the mushroom head, on the mind when they made this, now far away from the era of detente Can played from. The lyrics are perfect for the political points the band wanted to be sure to hammer, and meld with the music. Everything, then, is just right. A masterpiece of pronk, this is a chilling journey from a band who looked on with fellow billions over the precipice of midnight.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "This Heat" is another one of those bands that tends to go largely ignored, was pretty much completely ignored when they were a band, yet still ended up having a huge impact on a sub-genre that ended up growing from their influence. Their second album "Deceit" was unheard of in 1981 when it was released, and would continue to be unheard of for quite some time, however, it is now regarded as a classic album of the post-punk era.

The album takes on some quite dire subjects such as nuclear war and imperialism. The album, according to Charles Hayward who plays bass, keyboards and drums for the band, said that "We had a firm belief we were going to die and the record was made on those express this sort of fear, angst, which the group was all about, really.". The music is a combination of new improvisations and songs that were played in concert, and this was all mixed together, which created an album that goes from textured and atmospheric to extremely noisy and harsh.

"Sleep" starts things off with an almost prehistoric and industrial sounding track, which contains vocals from all of the members of the band, sometime singing alone and other times singing lines together, with one distinctive low, gravelly voice and another falsetto voice along with a "normal" sounding voice. The music stays soft, but when "Paper Hats" starts, there is a brighter tone to the jangly instruments, but a more morose sounding vocal that eventually turns to a manic sounding vocal with harsh and industrial style sounds. The music can change instantly, and it does, especially in vocal stylings. The music definitely takes on a very avant-prog sound, which wasn't done very often back when this was released. The sound is way ahead of its time. After 2 minutes, it gets really noisy and chaotic, then suddenly changes to a bass heavy staccato sound in an instant, and this sound continues for the next 4 minutes until it finally just kind of falls apart. Even so, the music on this album is a lot more melodic than the debut album, but you can still expect the unexpected at all times.

The bizarre gets even more bizarre on "Triumph" which sounds like a march made from various random instruments and percussive items. A loose vocal hangs precariously on the minimal yet chaotic sound. "S,P.Q.R." is more structured sounding with fast strumming, thumping drums and tinkling cymbals with the odd vocal harmonics that are based on texture more than chords. This track has been covered by a few bands since then, including the excellent band "Sleepytime Gorilla Museum". "Cenotaph" continues with the more structured sound, but is quite metallic sounding based on the chiming guitar chord that keeps repeating and the grinding effects that go on under the textured harmonics.

"Shrink Wrap" is a short track featuring some crazy looping techniques and layering effects, percussion and vocals into a hodgepodge of sounds, but driven along by a rhythmic feel. "Radio Prague" is more minimal with a rapid clicking sound, glitchy indiscernible spoken vocals (almost like scanning past radio talk stations quickly) and other percussive noises. "Makeshift Swahili" follows directly off of this as it organizes everything into a droning sound, staccato, percussive guitar strings and shouting vocals. The instruments provide the melody, but there is no real melodic tune in the vocals until the track gets half-way along, but at which time the instruments meld together and then become quite unpredictable and heavy, all the while, the drone continues in the background. The sound suddenly goes lo-fi somewhere along the way and before it can get totally chaotic, it fades out, yet not completely.

"Independence" has a bit of a happier tone to it, with whistles, tonal percussion and such. Over the top of this we get the voices speaking in a sing-song way reading off a part of The Declaration of Independence. It sounds like a liberty parade from hell. "A New Kind of Water" uses a simple, tension building guitar line and combines this with a chorus of layered, thickly textured vocals. The instruments build up a bit, and take on that industrial feel, with repetitive strumming and quirky drumming while the bass moves to support the vocal melody. The last track is "Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease)". This one is full of strange effects, processed howling, soft screeching and a repeating minimal passage that sounds like a toy accordion. It is all quite minimal sounding, but very eerie and sparse, a study in sounds and noises.

As I said previously, this music was way ahead of it's time, completed when there was nothing much out there like this at all. The funny thing is, is that you can play it now and it would still feel relevant. If you picked any other album from the 80s at random, your chances of getting an album like this would be quite low. It is a definite classic, and many artists have talked about its influence on them, especially those bands that are more experimental and avant-garde style. For lovers of the quirky, odd styles of avant prog, this album is a must have.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An historically important album that received virtually no notice or attention at the time of its release, this post-punk classic found musicians Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen collaborating with friend (and untrained-musician) Gareth Williams to create this album in the confines of their own former-manufacturing plant-converted-to-recording studio. The musicians say that at the time they were making this album they had a firm belief that they were going to die. The tired, angry, angst-filled "post-punk" spirit informs each and every one of these cynical, disconsolate creations. Very critical of social political forms, trends, and events of the time.

1. "Sleep" (2:15) (4.5/5)

2. "Paper Hats" (6:03) amazing bass with crazed Eno/Heads/Belew-like vocal. (9.25/10)

3. "Triumph" (2:56) (9/10)

4. "SPQR" (3:29) group chanting about being Roman over dynamic drums and frenetic rhythm guitar strumming. (8.75/10)

5. "Cenotaph" (4:40) here the band sound like a cross between 1970s BRIAN ENO, TALKING HEADS, GANG OF FOUR, and Bill Laswell's MATERIAL--though perhaps on the bored side due to the affect expressed in the vocal performances. (8.875/10)

6. "Shrink Wrap" (1:41) some traditional tribal African rhythms and chants form the foundation for this. A bit like some of the British bands on Peter Gabriel's first issue of music from his WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festivals (like XTC). (4.375/5)

7. "Radio Prague" (2:22) with the in-and-out cuts into the voice tracks the band is perhaps trying to convey how sequestered this (at the time) Communist country was (perceived) existing behind the Iron Curtain. (No rating cuz it is no song.)

8. "Makeshift Swahili" (4:05) more pseudo African rhythms and sounds with English words being screamed over the top open this song. After about 1:50, there is a shift into more British musical form (and then another at 2:30 into more punk-like form). Interesting. And creative. (8.75/10)

9. "Independence" (3:43) an interesting form of expression for the choral reading of American Declaration of Independence. Why the music is so plodding and the affect of vocalists so disinterested and tired is curious. (Perhaps they're meant to sound drunk--singing in a pub as one would a sea shanty.) Clever if bewildering. (8.875/10)

10. "A New Kind Of Water" (4:58) bass drum three-beat heart beat with cymbal play, repeated single stroke bass and guitar chord and weird drunken chanting over the top until the two-minute mark when the music gels into something more akin to a rock 'n' roll song. This is obviously a lyrics-driven song; too bad I don't comprehend lyrics. (8.75/10)

11. "Hi Baku Shyo (Suffer Bomb Disease)" (4:04) creepy-weird monster voice noises beneath which an accordion plays an occasional arpeggio or two. Yes, the human vocalizations could be construed as a person dying some horrifically painful death (with flies buzzing around to eat the decaying flesh) as per someone who'd been bombed, napalmed, or even exposed to radioactive fallout, but, really: is this necessary. (8.66667/10)

Total Time: 40:16

This is my first exposure to the existence of this band much less their sound and discography. My impression is that this is an album that sounds totally like another Brian Eno project--maybe with his own musician friends from the 1970s or with members of Talking Heads' expanded format (e.g. Adrian Belew), very oriented to rhythm and lyric not necessarily melody (though chant is a modality often used herein). I really liked this listening experience: the creators have very similar complaints and worries that I've had over the course of my lifetime. Plus, I really appreciate the passionate forms of expression the trio use to make their pleas known. A very powerful, haunting experience. (I haven't been able to get the moods and ideas out of my head since hearing it.) Though musically this may not be a collection of truly masterful songs, as a piece of art expression the truest emotions of the human experience this is spectacular and much appreciated.

After listening to this album for the second and third times I began getting an appreciation for how creative, dedicated, and influential this band was. I feel as if I have a better read on where "post-punk" bands like black midi and Black Country, New Road are coming from.

B/four stars; some incredibly inventive ideas and expressions occasionally marred by lack of musical familiarity or crudity.

Latest members reviews

5 stars How this album has managed to be so thoroughly ignored by the community here at ProgArchives is astounding to me. It's the perfect storm of progressive brilliance: Fascinating musicianship, intelligent, beguiling lyrics and a unique sound that "Deceit" can claim to be its own and only its own. ... (read more)

Report this review (#563495) | Posted by 40footwolf | Sunday, November 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: A+ (10.0) A captivating guitar line comes floating out of your speakers, soon joined by soothing voices singing, "sleep, sleep, sleep, go to sleep." A hypnotic drum rhythm comes in to complete the perfect picture of a lullaby. Thus begins your journey into This Heat's magnum opus, De ... (read more)

Report this review (#163500) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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