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This Heat - This Heat CD (album) cover


This Heat



3.97 | 74 ratings

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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.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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