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This Heat Deceit album cover
4.35 | 84 ratings | 7 reviews | 50% 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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THIS HEAT Deceit ratings distribution

(84 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
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
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
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.

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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