By Forrest Cook
Heater is a band from Fort Worth recently referred to me by a friend for a potential booking arrangement. I trust my buddy so I contacted them, enthusiastic about performing with new-to-me local groups – without having ever listened to their music, but, hey… Give me some credit.
What better way to experience new music than in an intimate live-in-a-dive atmosphere? Much to my dismay, that booking arrangement didn’t work out, and so my introduction to Heater was put on hold, but only briefly, as my humble and gracious editor dropped their newest release in my “items for review” box just a little earlier today. And I’m absolutely grateful that he did.
Temporary Power was released on January 30 and is available for streaming on Heater’s Bandcamp page. It’s three songs of progressive punk rock in the style of Fugazi and early-ATDI. I hear a lot of Rites of Spring and I’m ecstatic that there’s a group of local musicians devoted to creating post-hardcore shanties like these and playing them around the metroplex. It’s a genre I personally cherish, and although it’s often criticized as laying the foundations for future emo music, it also brought us great names like Planes Mistaken for Stars, and Austin’s Mineral, who I enjoy but it could be said took a much “sweeter route”.
Heater plays punk rock well. That should be stated, first and foremost.
There’s a frantic tension in the voice of Travis Brown where desperate frustration cries out through feedback-frenzied variants of more traditional pop-rock movements. It exasperates through the swell of fuzzy guitars and the cold throbbing of the bass. Pulsing.
There’s also an alluded sexuality in the music. Imaginative guitars respire in build-up and crescendo, behind Brown’s throaty parameters and the dance-y, D.C style drumming provided by Josh Lindsay – a cataclysm of creative fill patterns, off-beats and crashes. The bass kick and snare are militant in flashes while at times melodious patterns of efflorescence synchronize in animation giving added effect to the band’s politically human lyrical themes.
Heater’s Temporary Power EP is one for the collection. I definitely look forward to seeing these guys live and getting them on a bill of my own in the near future. Peace.