While many pundits are tipping various other acts to be the next “saviours of British rock”, it would be wise to stick a few quid down on Tax The Heat beating them all to the title. A ludicrous title I might add, British rock does not need saving, it’s doing rather well, thank you. Visit Wildfire Festival this summer, or SOS Festival, or any other grass-roots festival, for that matter, you will come away raving about a score of new British bands. Who will go on to become the next generation of arena headliners is another argument, but one is certainty is that the amount of new bands breaking through is on the rise. Bristolians Tax The Heat have rather a lot going for them. Good looks and the snappy dress sense to one side, they do possess a modern rock sound that is easy on the ears, but crucially, it’s not diluted into some toothless shadow of what rock music used to be. That reminds me, The Vaccines have a new album due sometime soon…
Opener ‘Money In The Bank’ has a warm guitar fuzz, similar to fellow snappy dressers Rival Sons, but where the yanks have quite a retro sound, the brits have both eyes set on current day. The guitars are massive, and listen closely, and you might hear a Queen-like layered vocal here and there. Bottom line is that the track is a belting opener. The layered vocals continue on the poppier, more commercial, title track, which comes with a killer drum groove and… cowbell! The kind of track that, sadly, commercial radio ignore on a daily basis. ‘Playing With Fire’ might begin with little bit of a Thin Lizzy vibe, but it soon develops into a all out assault on the senses. Do I dance? Headbang? Strum the air guitar? Slap a de bass, mon? All of the above? Drummer Jack Taylor counts the band in on ‘On The Run’, a jaunty little number where the guitars are immense and have a familiar feelgood factor to them, while ‘The Last Time’ has a blissful, chilled out aura surrounding it… and it floats man, it floats. ‘Taking The Hit’ is a furious mash-up of disco swagger and ramped up guitars, a true “hold my pint” moment. Another highlight would be ‘My Headspace’, which belongs to the swampy slide guitar and the fantastic drumming from Jack Taylor.The dude propels the song along at a furious old pace.
In some bizarre parallel universe, Tax The Heat are already stars. The other universe just needs to catch up.
‘Change Your Position’ is available now through Nuclear Blast. Tax The Heat are on tour throughout April. All dates can be found here.