Fireworks

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Tax The Heat - 'Fed To The Lions' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9e/dd/b4/tax-the-heat-fed-to-the-lions-26-1474482952.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2016    
 
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The variety is impressive, the innocence disarming; the album delightful.

Tax The Heat is a UK four-piece who burst onto the scene in November 2013 with their debut EP before embarking on hot-shot support slots with bands such as Black Star Riders, Europe and Masters Of Reality. Now their debut album is here, packed with retro guitar sounds, edgy vocals and straight-up Bluesy Rock 'n' Roll.

'Highway Home' had hints of Rage Against the Machine in its beat but, if like me you prefer the older stuff, don't let it put you off. 'Animals' builds in texture with dirty guitar, but not the Sleazy kind. The sound is pretty dry, laid-back, even sarcastic in its delivery.

In 'Under Watchful Eye' you can definitely hear elements of bands like Goldfrapp and The Graveltones; perhaps since their producer, Evansson, produced the former. Though not as commercial, it gives you a flavour of the kind of original sound you can expect. Vocalist Alex Veale slips in and out of Jack White-esque licks, oozing attitude but clearly so in command of the melody he can wander in and out as he pleases.

The title track is a catchy mix of different tempos, rhythms and sounds despite the guitar kicking in and out; these guys have nailed the ultimate challenge – knowing when not to play. 'Hit Me Hard' is a little more Alternative, smoother in delivery but with some Poppy "aah" layered backing vocals. Veale doesn't have an extensive vocal range but his casual delivery is refreshing, the rough-edged higher notes charming.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Devil's Daughter' has messier production for the edgier track. Tax The Heat are rarely what you would call "melodic" but that doesn't mean there aren't catchier, simply straight-forward in staccato, punchy rhythms. They embody the meaning of diversity and are creative and energetic song-writers, ruthless in their relentless delivery. 'Caroline' is a corker with a Western/Country slant and lilting vocals with a soaring chorus.

'Your Fool' is back knocking out punchy hooks but all in a very open, wide sound which suits Veale's vocals very well. Closing track, 'Lost Our Way' errs on the heavier side but with cruising vocals that contrast well, the solid rhythm section hammering away at the riff before bringing the album to a fading, misty end.

This album conjures up seventies' flares, small-town Rock and energetic performances that own a stage. The variety is impressive, the innocence disarming; the album delightful.

Sophie Brownlee

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