Canadian band Heat, describes itself as “post-punk” on its Facebook page and lists Sonic Youth and Oasis as influences, while those writing about the band compare them generously to Echo & the Bunnymen, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Psychedelic Furs. That places the Heat sound firmly in the 80’s, which fits well with the opening track, “City Limits,” with it’s fast beep-beep-beep synthesizer intro, a high noodling guitar solo a la Boston’s Tom Scholz, and repeated lyrics about being “lost in a feeling.”
As originals go, the songs of Heat are all not that original, but they are delivered with a compelling sense of energy and conviction, even though it’s not all that clear what vocalist Susil Sharma is singing about much of the time. Somehow, they manage to pull it off.
Other songs pile on layers of guitars and combine with a potent enough to create a sound that feels like a Canadian take on The Strokes, without feeling entirely derivative. “Rose De Lima” is an instrumental that mixes things up a bit, with a strong drum rhythm and guitars drenched in effects are echoing off the walls while a woman speaks. “Cold Hard Morning Light” centers around an aggressive guitar chord hook and Sharma’s vocal is somewhere between the Furs’ Richard Butler and Liam Gallagher of Oasis, while a chorus echoes the words of the song’s title, rounded out by some serious guitar soloing.
Guitar driven rockers “Sometimes” and “Long Time Coming” are equally engaging. When the guitars are fired up to support Sharma’s vocals and the band maintains their dance-floor friendly rhythms, as they do on the album’s first single, “Lush,” Heat proves a winning combination.
Label: Topshelf Records
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Brian Q. Newcomb
For more of Brian Q. Newcomb’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television