For their debut album Tax The Heat have gone back to the roots of British rock 'n' roll music, incorporating influences from The Beatles, The kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Jam. The British band have managed to steer clear of the American spin on the genre by producing an album which is iconically British, but still maintains a progressive outlook. Vocalist/guitarist Alex Veale proudly admits that the energy of those 60s bands had a huge bearing on the development of Tax The Heat, but they want to take it in a different direction by 'bridging the gap between old and new.'
Alex's assertion can be heard from the opening drum triplet and a Pete Townshend thrash of the guitar during Highway Home. You can hear traces of a young Ray Davies in his voice too and then drops of classic Robert Plant as he belts out the high notes during the chorus, but it all sounds surprisingly fresh. Working with producer Evansson, who's been behind tracks behind Goldfrapp and the aforementioned Robert Plant has ensured their sound has developed in the right way. The band even went old school when making the album, recording together with no overdubs. That energy certainly shows in the record; it's bold, brazen and instantly listenable.
Animals, has the swagger of a Stones record, replete with a catchy rock blues hook, but switches to a harder heavier sound for the chorus and midsection. It's contemporary but comfortably familiar. Hit Me Hard is the radio friendly track which just oozes old school appeal and millennial charm. Devil's Daughter is a quirky take on poppy stoner rock with a grinding riff and an addictive rhythm. Caroline brings out the band's sensitive side with drummer Jack Taylor setting down a smooth percussion line which builds to the rousing retro refrain. Speaking of fuzzy retro refrains, Lost Your Way rounds off a tremendous album with haunting acoustic guitar, furious percussion, some witty lyrics and that all important driving guitar riff.
Inspired by the intimate and claustrophobic music venues where their idols cut their teeth, that hot and heavy musicality is evident in the music (Fed To The Lions), but their sound is so much bigger and easily transferable to larger venues where the band can really let rip (Some Sympathy). They have managed to perfectly harness the melodic sensibilities, rugged riffs and poetic word-smithery that made the 60s bands so eminent whilst drawing from the best of the new breed of rockers. A terrific debut that sets a standard for modern British rock n' roll music. Put it this way, if you can't stand 'The Heat...'
Groupie Rating 5/5