18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This Heat's best release!,
This review is from: Health And Efficiency (Audio CD)
I first became aware of This Heat in '78 or '79 (can't quite remember), live at the legendary London venue "Heaven". Heaven hosted an experimental live band/art installation event on Tuesday nights & This Heat were the best thing that I witnessed there (amongst stiff competition). The 2 Charles's were seriously good "prog rock" musicians before forming this band & I remember being surprised by the fact that they had ditched the prog thing & replaced it with less obviously musical & extremely "arty" music more akin with Terry Riley, Yiannis Xenakis, Faust, Can, Neu or even Pierre Schaeffer, but with a super hard rock edge. Needless to say I went out & bought the 1st album & it immediately hit the top of my playlist.
As a confirmed fan of the band I rushed out to buy the next release, a 12" single called "Health & Efficiency". This release took all the principles of the self titled 1st album & perfected them, to this day H&E remains my favourite example of this band's work.
Some people seem to feel that the next release "Deceit" is the apex of the band's career but for me it was (initially) a huge dissapointment & parts of it remain my least favourite of their output. The essence of This Heat (in my opinion) is in the paring down of hard rock riffs, Musique Concrete (tape machine manipulation) editing, looping, vari-speeding & processing techniques, creating trance-like grooves, proto "illbient" moods & to a lesser degree (the focus of Deceit) political & moribund singing.
Don't get me wrong folks, I love the singing of Charles Hayward (listen to him on the Quiet Sun album "Mainstream" for instance) & those of you that think Thom Yorke & his Radiohead chums started something should immediately refer to This Heat in order to improve your perspective. To those of you who are considering making a 1st This Heat purchase I will say that If you don't require a lyrical bias to your music you may as well start here or with the 1st album, if you like a bit of a song then move on to Deceit & work backwards.
For This Heat fans/completists "Out of cold storage" is a definitive boxed set with extensive booklet that I strongly recommend you buy instead of this only if you don't already own the 1st & 2nd albums &/or the Peel Sessions ("MadeAvailable") already (it even features the experimental b-side of health & efficiency twice, at 33rpm & at 45rpm!) 'cos ultimately, you'll end up buying it all anyway!
So, to summarise. This Heat capture all that's good about Musique Concrete, Minimalism, Industrial, Experimental Electronic, Krautrock, Post Punk & Canterbury prog/post prog (think Robert Wyatt for that 1). Health & Efficiency captures all aspects of this great band quite brilliantly & if you like the description you really will love the band & (I feel) particularly this release . . .