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  TAX THE HEAT
'Fed To The Lions'
(Nuclear Blast)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main



tax the heat

Tax The Heat are very much a modern British band with a solid slab of classic rock 'n' roll sensibility, taking their influences from the great bands of the Sixties like The Kinks, The Beatles, The Stones and The Who, but they also take inspiration for modern day rock and rollers like Jack White and Queens Of The Stone Age all of which influence the band's sound.

Hailing from Bristol, the band were originally formed in 2012 by school friends drummer Jack Taylor and Alex Veale who handles guitar and vocal duties. The recruitment of bass player Antonio Angotti and guitarist JP Jacyshyn solidified the line up and they set about the sometimes perilous career of being a full time rock band.

The band played their first gig in January 2013 and it was later that year when the band's self-recorded demos gained the interest of Chris Goss (producer Of Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age And The Cult). By happenstance, the band's management team has already asked them to compile a list of producers and Goss' name was the one at the top of their list. After hearing the band's demos, Goss agreed to produce an EP for the band which was recorded in the English city of Bath.

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Released in November 2013 (on a limited run of 10" vinyl) the band's EP drew attention from the likes of Kerrang! Radio, Planet Rock and BBC Introducing whilst the band went about cementing their live reputation with a number of shows supporting Thunder, Reef, Black Star Riders, The Graveltones and The Cadillac Three. The band also performed successful sets at major UK festivals such as Download, Calling, Steelhouse and Camden Rock before the set out on the road in December 2015 for their first ever headline tour of the UK.

In September 2015 they penned a deal with Nuclear Blast and set about writing and recording what would be come their debut album. April 2016 sees the culmination of an intense three-year period for the band all come to fruition with the release of 'Fed To The Lions', their debut full length release produced by Evansson (Robert Plant, Siouxsie Sioux and Goldfrapp) – twelve original tracks that really focuses the spotlight on this young quartet.

The album promises so much from the band, and I have to say that it doesn't really disappoint at all, with lots of variance in the tracks and pretty much all of them are top notch numbers. From the first listen it was 'Devil's Daughter' that supplanted itself as a favourite of mine. It's a gloriously upbeat number that has a jaunty guitar riff to it whilst there's some inspired guitar work mid way through.

With 'Stood On The Platform To Leave', it's drummer Jack Taylor who sets up the fast pace on this full on rocker of a track as he punches out the solid beat whilst bass player Antonio Angotti provides the additional groove as front man Alex Veale really puts his voice to work with a great performance. Let's not forget guitarist JP Jacyshyn, of course, who shows his skill with a measured guitar solo making this another stand out track for me.

Angotti comes into his own during the intro of 'Highway Home' as the track builds up and up until it explodes on the catchy chorus. The fast pace continues with 'Animals' although at the top of the track it's a simple voice and guitar sound before once again it all comes together at the chorus. Taylor does well with the complex beat whilst Veale has his word cut out squeezing in all the lyrics at the right moment.

Title track 'Fed To The Lions' features a harsher vocal performance from Veale in between the punchy guitar and drum sound which make this track sound a bit different from some of the others. The pace picks up in the middle section with Taylor once again leading the way whilst the guitar sounds create a lot of background noise as the sing climaxes. Not the absolute best here, but certainly a good solid number overall.

'Caroline' is another good mid-paced number with the guitar very much leading the way. It's a subtler approach than some tracks which tend to be fairly full on tracks whereas this one takes its time. Lamenting the loss of the title character and trying to get her back isn't that happiest of lyrics but the tracks never depressive or mournful and as far as I'm concerned, it's another great track.

One of the slower paced numbers is 'Under Watchful Eye' - slower paced number with Angotti again coming to the fore with his brooding bass line whilst the guitar line takes a less conventional tone between the lyrics. Veale gives the merest glimmer of what his voice can really do but overall it's a subtle performance from him. The slow and brooding continues with Song Seven – 'Some Sympathy' with a great lyrical guitar mingling alongside the vocals. Like 'Caroline' previously, the lyrics may be downbeat but the song never wallows in self pity and the tune is actually quite an upbeat one.

Without a doubt the softest sounding track here is 'Hit Me Hard' with simple guitar and drums whilst Veale gives an incredibly subtle vocal performance. If the band are looking for a potential single to play then this could be it - clean sounding, upbeat and not unpleasant and with loads of character to it.

You can see the official video for 'Highway Home' here:



You can see Tax The Heat live here:

Saturday 23rd – Sunday 24th July – Steelhouse Festival, Hafod Y Dafal Farm, Ebbw Vale

'Fed To The Lions' Track Listing:
Highway Home
Animals
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)
Caroline
Your Fool
Lost Our Way

Tax The Heat are:
Alex Veale – Vocals/Guitar
JP Jacyshyn – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Antonio Angotti – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jack Taylor – Drums/Backing Vocals


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20.4.2016










 


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