The first time I heard Tax The Heat’s track ‘Fed To The Lions’, it just about knocked me off my feet. It’s such a ridiculously good track, and the band rips through it with such ferocity and verve in under three minutes, that by the end I was left wondering what the heck happened. I then proceeded to listen to it about ten times in a row immediately after.
And now there’s an album, and the title track is that spectacular shot of rock and roll that pulled me in the first time. The band lays out 12 absolutely stellar tracks here: roaring through some fantastic blues and r&b infused riff-powered rock. And while Tax The Heat has a throwback sound, you mustn’t let that fool you into thinking this is some kind of sedate hipster rock. Far from it. This is premium rock and roll with dirt and grit and rowdy hard-rocking riffs, powered by blistering energy.
Tax The Heat lists The Yardbirds and The Kinks among their favoured bands, and you can definitely hear that influence on this release. There’s an energy and heartbeat here that recalls tracks like ‘You Really Got Me’, and ‘For Your Love’.
First track ‘Highway Home’ sets the tone just right: it’s a foot stomping rocker that almost has a T. Rex vibe, followed by the snappy and rowdy ‘Animals’ with a knockout, domineering riff running through it.
Things get a shade darker and a slight bit hotter on the ruggedly sexy ‘Under Watchful Eye’, featuring a bit of distortion, a whole lot of fuzz, and some brilliant vocals. After that comes ‘Fed To The Lions’, a track that still floors me from the first riff and that roaring lyric: ‘Ripped my heart out…”.
The band slows down a bit for a few of the tracks here, even though they never go all-out balladeering. And why should they, when they can rip into pure rock and roll whup-ass on tunes like ‘Stood On The Platform To Leave’ or ‘Some Sympathy’?
Also, if you can find a way to stop your hips and feet from moving when you hear ‘Devil’s Daughter’, or the red-hot ‘Learn To Drown (You’re Wrong)’, well, then you’ve got more self-control than I do. Forget the whole retro / throwback thing for a bit: these guys are tearing it up in spectacular fashion. By the time the band gets to the sizzling ‘Your Fool’ with its vibrating , reverberating riffs and fiery vocals, I’m a goner. (What a crazily addictive track this is!) ‘Lost Our Way’ just wraps up the package with some very tasty guitar- and bass-work.
‘Fed To The Lions’ will pick you right up if you’re down: it’s one heck of an album, and a stunning debut for Tax The Heat. My verdict: it’s a must-have for any fan of rock and roll.
‘Tax The Heat’ will be playing The Islington in London on April 14th, and are confirmed for Truck Festival, Steelhouse Festival, and Ramblin’ Man Fair – all in July, and all in the UK. PS! Any time you guys want to bring yourselves over to Vancouver, Canada, we’d love to have you over!
- Highway Home
- Under Watchful Eye
- Fed To The Lions
- Hit Me Hard
- Stood On The Platform To Leave
- Some Sympathy
- Devil’s Daughter
- Learn To Drown (You’re Wrong)
- Your Fool
- Lost Our Way
- Alex Veale
- Jack Taylor
- Antonio Angotti
- JP Jacyshyn