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The Heat Inc. – The Heat Inc. E.P. review

Genre: Garage Rock

Label: Melted Dino Records

Released: March 26th 2021

Members:

Jon Dodd , vocals,

Nicolas Rigot, bass,

Maurizio Vitale, drums,

Marco Simoncelli, guitar,

Track List: 

Down in the City

Raptors

Sammy Swing Easy

Polaroids

Your After Love Song

 

The promo material for this e.p. suggests it should be played loud and in a darkened basement to recreate the feel and sound of one of The Heat Inc.’s gigs. That their last gig was way back in February 2020 (like many artists) means that , at present, this is perhaps the only (and best) way to listen to their particular brand of dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

The E.P. opens with ‘Down In The City’ and if you want to wear your influences on your sleeves then Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ was very much on regular rotation when the band were first looking to compose this particular track. It’s only the intro that’s a perfect match but that initial 30 seconds was more than enough to hook me, given the source material is perhaps my favourite from the fabulous Debbie Harry & Co. Once we’re past the ‘oooh I know this’ moment, the track opens into something much more in keeping with what we expect from the band and the sound moves towards that stylised by Iggy and the Stooges with Jon Dodd’s voice a ringer for Iggy Pop which in my opinion is high praise indeed.

There’s plenty of fuzz in the mix as we move into ‘Raptors’ and it definitely adds to that gritty basement feel that the band are clearly striving for. You can imagine them arriving on stage, looking fairly pristine, beards and hair neatly presented only, by the end of the show, to be a dishevelled sweaty mess with clothing, hair and everything in-between all over the place, thanks solely to the obvious energy present in each track that they somehow manage to translate to the live arena.

You can check out that dirty vibe with the video for ‘Raptors’ here:

Sammy Swing Easy’ has Mick Jagger written all over it and the change in style and approach, as well as Jon shifting his vocal range and delivery around with ease proves that this will be a band to watch out for when they drop a full length album. The versatility and capabilities of the band , easily matched by song-writing prowess and a clear appreciation for great music of times gone by means that the listener is never quite sure what will come next and will ensure full attention throughout any release. That is something very difficult to achieve these days.

Polaroids’ moves into Queens of the Stone Age territory and with visibility to the band and a love of ‘Raptors‘ from former QOTSA member Alain Johannes, it will hopefully only be a matter of time before a support slot is offered as the band present the perfect accompaniment to the Californian outfit.

The twist comes yet again at the end of ‘Polaroids’ . How does a track steeped in QOTSA style and delivery present something new to listeners. How about adding a sax driven outro from PJ Harvey’s own Terry Edwards. That combination simply cannot work right? Wrong. The sax pushes the track toward a much darker area. It gives the song the sort of atmosphere and darkness that would see David Fincher on the phone looking for the band to contribute to his next movie soundtrack.

So far and 80% of the way through a five track E.P. that has, surely, got to be enough variety for one band to put out to the masses? Well, you’d think so but then you’d reckon without E.P. closer ‘Your After Love Song’, a track dripping in angst. Its dirty, grime filled vibe that permeates throughout the song makes this very much the anti-hero of love songs and it’s like listening to someone whose life has gone through the wringer but their story is so fascinating that you simply cannot let go until the end. ‘Your After Love Song’ holds you in a similar fashion. It should be difficult to listen to, but it’s not because again, the band know just how to hold you from the first note to the last.

 
There aren’t many bands that can show so many different influences and degrees of separation between each song yet somehow, they all feel connected, they all work in isolation as well, yet together it feels like the most unusual yet unbreakable family tree. It’s the Heston Blumenthal approach to making music… this shouldn’t work but by god it sounds glorious!

If you like the sound of that: 

Stream the EP here : https://ingroov.es/the-heat-inc

Score 8/10

Reviewed by Adrian Hextall

 

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