It seems a common occurrence in rock music, but whenever things start to become staid and stagnant a band arrives to shake things up with some rock n’ roll that’s played in its original spirit, and that’s precisely what London’s The Heat Inc. have arrived to do. They’re an incendiary quartet who’ve come to breathe life into rock’s fetid corpse. Featuring ten explosive cuts, Asleep In The Ejector Seat sets a new benchmark for what rock music can be, and it’s cool swagger is certain to echo throughout the coming years.
With Maurizio Vitale’s drums beating a military tattoo, opening cut ‘Souvenir’ arrives with all guitars blazing, and it sets a dangerous precedent for the next 35-minutes. It becomes immediately apparent that this is no pedestrian, paint-by-numbers brand of rock, rather it is the fuzzed-up, smokin’-amp variety, which is always a more intriguing proposition. With all the needles approaching the red, ‘Souvenir’ isn’t made for the faint-hearted, yet hardier souls will find a spiritual home here with The Heat Inc. hitting both accelerator and distortion pedals pretty hard. For all their visceral power, the band never lose sight of melody or song structure, meaning that each of the songs is awarded instant earworm status, and no more so than on the following ‘Draw Blood For Proof’. With its huge sing-along chorus, don’t be surprised if it is adopted as a terrace anthem sometime soon.
The Heat Inc. are a band who understand musical dynamics, and the white spaces that punctuate ‘L.K.C.’ make a foil for the psychedelic sounds that spring from Marco Simoncelli’s guitar. With vocalist Jon Dodd drawling like the love-child of Iggy Pop and Nico, it’s no surprise that there’s a ‘60s feel to this album, but it is the roach end of that decade; it’s bad acid at Altamont, Agent Orange in Vietnam, and ‘This Thing Called Love’ does indeed sound as if it emanates from a New Orleans opium den. Drawing inspiration from the ‘60s they may, but The Heat Inc. display an energy that places them firmly in the present, and cuts such as ‘Alaska Murder Squad’ could have come from no era but our own.
Asleep In The Ejector Seat is one of those rarefied albums that delivers killer cut after killer cut, and not since The Stooges’ Fun House have I heard such a sick set of jams. Much of the band’s power is derived from the hard-hitting rhythm section, with Nicolas Rigot’s basslines taking over the beat of your heart, altering your very physiology towards a strange poly-rhythm. The Heat Inc.’s reputation has been built upon an energetic live show, that’s not always an easy vibe to replicate in a studio, but this album does a darn good job with both ‘Ms Willie Mae’ and ‘Samson’ perfectly replicating that “sweaty, sticky-floor” gig vibe. After nine successive sonic blasts, the semi-acoustic ‘Ultraviolence’ took me by surprise (as did its title), yet in the album’s arc, it makes perfect sense.
Asleep In The Ejector Seat? Here’s your wake up call!
- Draw Blood For Proof
- This Thing Called Love
- Alaska Murder Squad
- Get Wild
- Ms Willie Mae