This Heat remain one of the most unique and remarkable bands in existence, and it is a joy to see their catalogue being reissued on vinyl for the first time! This Heat, their debut, is full of post-punk churn, dissonant ambience, and even proto-drum & bass (‘24 Track Loop’). Remastered audio, 180g vinyl, and a booklet of notes and photos, on Modern Classics.
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- MCR916 / 180g vinyl reissue LP + booklet on Modern Classics / Light In The Attic. Remastered from original analog tapes! * SECOND PRESSING IN STANDARD LP SLEEVE *
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Listening to This Heat is honestly just great sport. You can see how they would’ve set an example for those cleaner post-punk bands with the winding riffs, how the Dismemberment Plan borrowed their gloopy, garbled sound, and why every guitar crew worth your time wants to be buried in noise. You can also hear them sounding kinda like Captain Beefheart as a rock band, or Can if you extracted the weirdness and framed it outside of a psychedelic context, or a fucking Brian Eno album when they find a nice spot to lay down in. This Heat had a really good, really weird sound, and that’s kind of it: they contributed in their way to a lineage of dumbass punk music, and it’s that silliness, that freeweelin’, that makes them essential.
On their self-titled debut record, This Heat finally start a song ten minutes in, a voice like Robert Wyatt’s crawling out of an onset of guitar-scarred and trumpeted ambience. It warbles and wanders, like it doesn’t really belong in the landscape, which has long since traversed a heady broth of punk rock dub (think of that intro as the precursor to Unwound’s “Sensible”), gnarly solo improv and electronic phrasing that might remind you of Grimes robot dystopia theme tune “Eight”. The voice is just there as another additive to a ridiculous recipe, disappearing for a wind-tunneled drone that takes as much time as it so chooses, eventually replaced by a cascade of bells that feel like they might never stop moving.
Like, honestly, what were This Heat doing? I’m proud of anyone who’s written an authoritative analysis of their music, but for me, the best thing about this record is the nowhere places to which it goes, the way these sounds are attached with peeling blu tack -- amazing ideas, discombobulated. “Twilight Furniture”, with its amazingly propulsive drumming and meandering, causeless guitar, feels stranded between two different bits of time. You listen to it and you think you’ve discovered a new way to arrange music, but really you've just unlearned how to fold your clothes.
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