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! Health & Efficiency is a hell of an EP, combining weird tape-manipulated soundscape ‘Graphic/Varispeed’ with the title track, which seems to accelerate at least 4 times before getting locked in a tight loop. Remastered audio, 180g vinyl, and a booklet of notes and photos, on Modern Classics.
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- MCR918 / 180g vinyl reissue LP + booklet in expanded gatefold tip-on sleeve on Modern Classics / Light In The Attic. Remastered from original analog tapes!
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Before health and safety, there was health and efficiency. Before health and efficiency, there was a band called This Heat, an early post-punk outfit that liked to smash things apart.
Take songs for example. This EP, originally released in 1980, is the second musical statement to their debut album, and features an anti-song as the first, titular number. It starts with a sort of post-punk/proto-indie rock section, a dirgey, nonchalant ‘band being a band’ bit before that section gets erased from existence in a 21st Century Schizoid moment by an angular cyclical riff over which drums stumble and pound. Some distant clatters can be heard, the band falling off stage during soundcheck, probably. This glorious jam carries on for a while until they return to a more positive sounding noodle that just stays around long enough to remind you that it was a song once before it fades. It’s like they’ve taken the interesting structures of the previous decade, removed every instance of prog pomp, and charged it with the ferocity of the punk explosion. You’ll find hints of Can, with the seeds of the sounds of later noise rockers such as Sonic Youth, Shellac and Viet Cong.
Though if that wasn’t enough, you’re treated to a lengthy experimental drone excursion that predates GY!BE’s similar musings by about 20 years. Sustained guitar tones hover for a few moments, then bend (and ascend) in pitch till you’re suitably spooked. Essential reissue stuffs.
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