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This Heat biography
Founded in Camberwell, London, UK in 1975 - Disbanded in 1982 - Reunited in 2016 as "This Is Not This Heat"

This Heat came into being when the improvising duo Dolphin Logic - Charles Hayward (Quiet Sun) on drums, keyboards and vocals, Charles Bullen on guitar, viola, clarinet and vocals - were joined by self confessed non musician Gareth Williams on organ, bass and vocals. The idea of inviting Williams to join was to add a 'wild card' to the impressive musical abilities of the original duo, and he also brought a fascination with the use of tapes which became an integral part of their writing and performance. Right from the outset This Heat stood out. Their second hand suits, short hair, intense music and combination of dazzling musicianship and apparently random noise was equally baffling to early punks and die hard prog heads, though they found support and sympathy from a select audience including members of Henry Cow.

Photo by Lesley Evans

They acquired their own studio, Cold Storage (a disused meat pie factory in Brixton) and set about recording in between their infrequent gigs. Their first, self titled album came out in 1979 and it sounded like they were picking up where Faust had left off in 1975, with muscular rhythms, musique concrete, found sounds and bizarre lyrics inhabiting a bizarre, post apocalyptic soundscape. Their second album, Deceit, came out in 1981, and was more song oriented and took the radical ideas and apocalyptoc imagery of their debut even further than their afficianados had hoped for. Those two albums, plus a 12" single called Health and Efficiency (1980), were all the band released in their lifetime. Williams left to study dance and music in India, and there were a few concerts as a quartet before they called it a day. Other releases continued to appear after the band's demise - Made Available contained 2 sessions the band had recorded for the John Peel show in 1977, and Repeat contained two lengthy pieces based around tape loops. Charles Hayward went on to form the equally impressive Camberwell Now with Trevor Gonwy, who had been part of the short lived quartet, and subsequently went on to solo work and occasional sessions. Charles Bullen concentrated on studio work as producer/engineer and has only recorded sporadically since. Gareth Williams died, all too soon, in 2001. A box set, including all their official releases plus some live recordings, came out in 2006.
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Rer USA 2008
$12.97 (used)
This HeatThis Heat
Recommended Records 2006
$12.95 (used)
Out of Cold StorageOut of Cold Storage
Box set
Rer Megacorp/Rer USA 2006
$71.43 (used)
Health & EfficiencyHealth & Efficiency
Modern Classics 2016
$34.40 (used)
Live 80-81Live 80-81
Rer USA 2008
Made AvailableMade Available
Rer USA 2008
$13.06 (used)
Rer USA 2008
$5.95 (used)
Made Available:John Peel SessionsMade Available:John Peel Sessions
$24.38 (used)
Repeat / MetalRepeat / Metal
Modern Classics 2018
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THIS HEAT discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

THIS HEAT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 59 ratings
This Heat
4.35 | 79 ratings
3.08 | 21 ratings
3.83 | 22 ratings
Made Available - John Peel Sessions

THIS HEAT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THIS HEAT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THIS HEAT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.61 | 19 ratings
Out Of Cold Storage

THIS HEAT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 17 ratings
Health and Efficiency


Showing last 10 reviews only
 This Heat by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 59 ratings

This Heat
This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I like what it says in the bio here that these three guys had short hair and wore second hand suits as they played live in the late seventies. They were a British act led by drummer Charles Hayward formerly of QUIET SUN, but the music here is far different from that band. Many felt that they were carrying on where FAUST left off at the time, and one of the bands who were huge fans back then of THIS HEAT were HENRY COW. Clarinet, viola and the usual instruments are featured here with all three guys using tapes so it's hard to tell at times what I'm hearing but as usual I'll try to describe what I think I hear.

"Testcard" starts and ends the album and it's just what the title says. "Horizontal Hold" has this heavy beat, an almost industrial rhythm that starts and stops. I like the speedy guitar strumming or is that viola being strummed after 2 minutes. Angular guitar follows with keyboards, a beat and more. A beat with electronics follows then intricate sounds start to come and go. Such a cool sounding track. "Not Waving" opens with organ-like sounds as viola joins in and it builds. Sounds drone until 2 minutes in when it settles right down. The clarinet kicks in before the vocals arrive, both continue and the vocals are avant sounding. Such an experimental backdrop to the vocals here. It's haunting late to end it. "Water" sounds nothing like you'd expect but instead we get random cow bell-like sounds and percussion throughout. The sound builds after 2 minutes as it turns quite powerful.

"Twilight Furniture" is a top three song for me. This is a more traditional song with a catchy beat as the guitar comes and goes. Vocals after a minute and they will also come and go. It settles late with viola. "24 Track Loop" is just that as sounds drone and an electronic-like beat takes over. More drones follow before an uptempo beat joins in. Clarinet is added before 4 minutes then it all settles back to end it. "Diet Of Worms" is grating with those high pitched sounds throughout. "Music Like Escaping Gas" is a top three track as sounds hum and start to build. Picked guitar after a minute then a throat is cleared before 2 minutes(haha) as windy sounds and vocals join in. It's just insane after 3 minutes. Great track! "Rainforest" has loud banging to start along with cymbals and atmosphere. It settles back some as a rhythm kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes to the end as it blends into "Fall Of Saigon" my final top three. Multi-vocals join in and they actually sound normal. They stop after 2 1/2 minutes. Check out the avant guitar expressions. Nice. The guitar speeds up late ripping it up big time.

Man this is a classic Avant album but I feel their followup "Deceit" is even better. A solid 4 stars.

 This Heat by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 59 ratings

This Heat
This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This Heat began recording this self-titled debut album in 1976, the year British punk exploded, and finished it in 1978, with post-punk well underway. Musically, it is as original, revolutionary and hostile as punk and as experimental as the most avant-garde post-punk; the closest point of comparison I can think of would be Public Image Ltd. at their most Krautrock-influenced moments on Metal Box, perhaps with certain influences creeping in from the likes of Henry Cow or Faust. I think the subsequent Deceit has the edge on this, but this complements the work on that album nicely and anyone interested in This Heat will sooner or later want to hear both.
 Health and Efficiency by THIS HEAT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.93 | 17 ratings

Health and Efficiency
This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Sandwiched between their two better known full albums which have only continued to gain respect and admiration over the ensuing decades, THIS HEAT released HEALTH AND EFFICIENCY as a two track EP. Sounding nothing like the two main albums, this little gem is well worth hearing as it is totally original and sounds like it paved the way for lots of indie rock and electronica to follow. The album is available as a stand alone release but is also included in the mega-boxed set 'Out Of Cold Storage' which also includes the two main albums, the archival 'Repeat' and 'Live 80/81.'

The title track which is stated in the liner notes as being dedicated to sunshine, starts out with some post-rock jangly guitars but has a rather old time rock' n roll feel to it with lyrics. The mix of the male vocals and female vocals remind me a lot of bands like Stereolab. This EP was clearly an inspiration for all those indie rock bands such as Sonic Youth that sprang up in the 90s to the present time. This sound abruptly changes gear when the clock strikes 2:11 into the track and becomes a monotonous industrial funky bass clap with strange atmospheric embellishments breaking the spell every few measures. This continues for a full 8:12 and keeps building more and more sounds, voices around the no wave type riff that is kind of funky, punky and drony simultaneously. Towards the last couple of minutes we get bombastic drumming and a highly distorted dissonant ending that fades into oblivion.

The second track 'Graphic / Varispeed' is an 11:22 long drone that buzzes on and on with pitch changes at random moments and doppler effect type atmospherics occurring from time to time. What should be a very hypnotic and uninteresting track surprisingly has enough subtle variations in the tones, pitches and tempo of a single sustained note to keep me entertained for its duration. While this originally was released on vinyl, this track was meant to be played at various speeds on a turntable. It was an invitation for the listener to experiment with 16, 33 1/3, 45 or 78 rpm. This track reminds me of some of what Coil would continue but also reminds a bit of some of the most out there ambient of 70s including Brian Eno. Definitely a recommended short but sweet album that matches the extremely bizarre album cover.

 Deceit by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.35 | 79 ratings

This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars In the dank depths of an old, abandoned cold storage room in punk and Thatcher era Brixton, a band who cared not for the mantra of the English punks - that prog = bad - once again blended RIO and post-punk into a lost treasure of both genres. Their theme: nuclear war. From what is remembered as a bleak and dour time, we hear the band's own mantra - sleep sleep sleep go to sleep - before our three genius madmen guide us forcefully by the arm through visions of a nuclear wasteland, the first album's semi-ruins bombed to oblivion, dragging us past unspeakable horrors with their freakish but masterful music. What little hints of new wave and pure krautrock they once had vanish, with a pure mix of what everyone at the time thought were mortal and permanent enemies of music triumphing, and cackling at their folly. The guitar on this record is perfect for the themes, moods, and styles the band exhibits; it is just unstoppable. The keys and tapes round out the main sound, and ensure that the album feels like armageddon and its aftermath. The drums stick out as well, and a lot of the time it feels as high in the mix as "Tago Mago"'s kick drums were... a doubly wonderful inspiration. Even with the krautrock musical influences gone, the band must've had Can's opus, their own crazed rumination on the mushroom head, on the mind when they made this, now far away from the era of detente Can played from. The lyrics are perfect for the political points the band wanted to be sure to hammer, and meld with the music. Everything, then, is just right. A masterpiece of pronk, this is a chilling journey from a band who looked on with fellow billions over the precipice of midnight.
 This Heat by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 59 ratings

This Heat
This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars A band caught somewhere between avant-prog, post-punk, and even the more experimental and darker side of early new wave, This Heat dropped two LPs that broke genre barriers with all the creative spark of a band from this millennium and with the chops to make them twin masterpieces. Progheads, punks, and industrial people all alike will find themselves challenged by the dour, angry, complex, and style-busting music contained within. The mix ends up creating a strange, dark, but excellent sound that guides you through the wreckage of humanity. Each track explores a different take on their overall style, often featuring unique instruments and instrumentation. "Deceit" is the greater album, but their self titled still remains a several times over impressive piece of genre and subculture defying avant garde music.
 Deceit by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.35 | 79 ratings

This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. THIS HEAT are an incredible Avant band out of the UK, and this is their second studio album released in 1981. The biggest surprise for me was that the drummer and leader is none other than Charles Hayward who was the drummer for QUIET SUN's "Mainstream" album. The cover art is classic as well but what about the music? Well I was reminded of FAUST more than any other band with those industrial sounding rhythms and how experimental this can get with all the tape loops(all 3 members use tapes). Still this has structured songs throughout the album but it is left of center in a big way. The lyrics are very political and at times angry reminding me of ART BEARS and HENRY COW.

"Sleep" is a short track just over 2 minutes that comes across as a demented lullaby for the insane. A mechanical rhythm here as reserved vocals sing about sleep. "Paper Hats" is cool with the guitar and a beat as the mono-toned vocals come in. He does scream blue murder(haha) at times. This is catchy though and the tempo picks up after 2 minutes before it settles to this really good sound before 3 minutes to the end. "Triumph" is experimental with accordion to start then we get clarinet? leading the way with intricate percussion sounds helping out. Vocals replace the clarinet 2 minutes in. The vocals do sound odd here. "SPQR" has an uptempo beat with over-lapping guitar like the way The Edge does it from U2. Vocals join in this deliberate sounding tune. "Cenotaph" is almost like a dirje and the subject matter is Remembrance Day. Vocals before a minute and they are a little different. It ends in an experimental way.

"Shrink Wrap" sounds like it was pieced together, it's an interesting track with some humerous vocals and words. Another mechanical rhythm here. "Radio Prague" has fast paced pulsating sounds with experimental noises and words. "Makeshift Swahili" is one of my favourites. Atmosphere as this cool sounding guitar comes in. Check out the demented vocals. Wow! An insane but incredible song. It changes around 2 minutes to a more normal sounding section then it picks up. Intense. "Independance" has the American Declaration of Independance being recited over an intricate instrumental display. An eastern feel comes in at times. "A New Kind Of Water" is another favourite of mine. A beat with guitar and more as the vocals join in. It kicks in to a fuller sound around a minute. What a great sound before 2 1/2 minutes with vocals. I love this section that goes on and on until the end. The final track is an experimental piece with church bells and various strange noises. Man this truly deserves the hype i've read from Avant fans around the globe. A must for you Rio/Avant fans.

 Deceit by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.35 | 79 ratings

This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The missing link between post-punk, new wave, industrial music and RIO, Deceit's This Heat takes the work of Talking Heads, late-period Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Art Zoyd, Metal Box-era Public Image Limited, Throbbing Gristle and does terrible, horrifying things to them to create a bizarre new hybrid. This is what you'd get if World War III broke out in 1981 and you tried to reconstruct punk rock or progressive rock from the tiny fragments of your blown-out local record store. Combining intriguing musicianship with avant-garde tape manipulations and bleak soundscapes, the album even points the way towards the bleaker and more frightening landscapes of post-rock. A true breakthrough.
 Deceit by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.35 | 79 ratings

This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by 40footwolf

5 stars How this album has managed to be so thoroughly ignored by the community here at ProgArchives is astounding to me. It's the perfect storm of progressive brilliance: Fascinating musicianship, intelligent, beguiling lyrics and a unique sound that "Deceit" can claim to be its own and only its own.

To bottomline it, this album sounds a lot like how the cover looks: Like the music of a grotesque but ultimately friendly patchwork machine that wishes to show you the inner workings of his mind. Indeed, "Deceit" is something of a journey. "Paper Hats" is a fantastic example of this, starting out with a hypnotic groove that alternates vocals between mellow chanting and tortured wails, then dovetails without warning into an avant-jazz freakout before settling back into a segment that could almost be called post-rock, with a bit of a bouncier rhythm than most songs from said genre.

This is not to say that the band does not keep a consistent tone throughout the album, because if anything This Heat is most remarkable at keeping a consistently sinister vibe in their music while keeping things varied enough to make sure the album's 40 minute runtime fly by in a flash. Even though it's easy to see the style they've secured as their own- post punk with jazz affectations and a DIY industrial aesthetic-it's remarkable how the album manages to keep the listener on their toes. Clanking, druggy soundscapes break up the punchier post-punk numbers without ever feeling unwelcome, and as bizarre as it may seem, sandwiched between all this weirdness is a group of songs that wouldn't be unwelcome on nearly any dance floor. The spectacular rhythm section along with the ahead-of-its-time electronic sound manipulation make sure that not only are these songs enjoyable and captivating, but timeless as well. This is an album that could have just as easily come out in 2011 as 1981, which in itself is something of a minor miracle.

This Heat was a remarkably short lived band, but in the half decade they were around they managed to pump enough brilliance into one album to secure their place in music history for all of time. "Deceit" is a necessary album. Besides being at once thoroughly accessible and truly avant-garde, it's an album that synthesizes a hybrid of styles in a way that forms a unique work using complex musicianship and thought provoking ideas, which is the very pinnacle of what every good progressive record. Make no mistake however, this is not merely a "good" progressive record: It is a vital document that every band who wishes to create a unique piece of music must take note of.

 This Heat by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 59 ratings

This Heat
This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Whoa! This sound strikes me with remarkable earache! (Of course, as a good meaning)

Beyond my expectation...This Heat had broken the progressive rock world. At the beginning of the album, there's faint electric sound in my ear. Suddenly, exploded noise (I consider it's not so-called sound!) grasps my brain. What an avantgarde production! Into the noise, lazy and weak voice comes and then let me feel depressive...after that, attacking me are the scattered percussive components. Again and again they hit, blow and squeeze my heart. What a violent work! At the last part...exotic melody and drumming go streaming, then the faint electric sound, that came previously, fades out and disappears.

I cannot recommend the product to persons who like symphonic progressive rock. That's so natural. I'm sure the album brought a revolution for progressive rock music. As the revolutionary of Avant-prog, 4 stars I wanna give.

 Deceit by THIS HEAT album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.35 | 79 ratings

This Heat RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Pnoom!

5 stars Rating: A+ (10.0)

A captivating guitar line comes floating out of your speakers, soon joined by soothing voices singing, "sleep, sleep, sleep, go to sleep." A hypnotic drum rhythm comes in to complete the perfect picture of a lullaby.

Thus begins your journey into This Heat's magnum opus, Deceit. A product of the burgeoning post-punk scene of the time, This Heat turned around and managed to both define and deconstruct the genre at the same time, all while remaining far too obscure for the level of intelligence they showed. Taking the pure energy of punk and mixing it with the grooves of Krautrock and the sophistication of progressive rock, This Heat created music of the likes never heard before (or since, for that matter), and they sounded amazing doing it. Propelled by Charles Hayward's hypnotic drumbeats and urgent, passionate, and versatile vocals, This Heat's music set the stage for much of post-rock and modern avant-prog.

But while their musical innovation is the defining factor of This Heat's legacy, it is the lyrical content of Deceit that lifts it from being an amazing album to being a legendary album. Never before or after have I heard a CD with such a stunning lyrical text. Thematically dealing with the threat of the atomic bomb (the band have said they wrote this CD due to their fear that they would all wake up dead one day), Deceit takes us through all the causes of the nuclear threat, all the possible triggers, providing a biting satire of the cold war world. They channel the anger of punk, but they infuse it with intelligence unseen in most of the music dealing with similar themes.

But, as it's specifically dealing with issues of the day, it must sound dated, right?


Yes, that is a resounding lack of affirmation you are hearing. This is not dated in any way, for the very simple reason that the nuclear threat is still with us, as are many of the other issues discussed on Deceit. In fact, much of what drives this album is not only still around, but far more prominently around now than it was back in 1981 when Deceit was first released.

Most prominent among these is This Heat's stark condemnation of materialism and greed as the key triggers for a nuclear war. In "Sleep," we are lulled to sleep by various advertising slogans ("softness is a thing called comfort," "doesn't cost much to keep in touch"). In "SPQR," we are informed that "we are all Romans, unconscious collective," and we "organize by 'property is power.'" "Makeshift Swahili" is a brutal (musically and lyrically) attack on imperialism, as seen in such lines as "we give you firewater; you give us your land." There are other triggers, too, of course. "Shrink Wrap" condemns equally politicians and the media with the remarkably simple yet efficient refrain of "you lie, you lie, you lie," and "Paper Hats" mocks irresponsible government, ridiculing Great Britain's useless guide to surviving a nuclear attack, asking "what do we expect, paper hats, or maybe even roses-the sound of explosions." Rather than actually working to prevent nuclear war, the British government chooses to make a worthless gesture that will resonate well with the people. But not, clearly, with This Heat. In "Independence," This Heat even quote the United States Declaration of Independence to call for the people to kick out the governments creating the mess, as seen in their choice to end on the line, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it" ("these ends" being the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). On the other hand, This Heat make sure that the public does not escape blame, pointing the finger at us for isolating ourselves from human contact in the bittersweet "Triumph."

Providing the backbone for these barbed attacks is a subtle twist of a normally dull and cliché storyline, making it vibrant and full of life. The theme is, as you might guess from "Sleep," that of a dream where, at the end, you wake up to find it's only a dream. In this case, however, it is only a quasi-dream, a false reality we have set up for ourselves where drowning in creature comforts is desirable. Lost within this blanket of commercialism, we are oblivious to the problems it causes, and by the time we wake up, all we are left with is the bleak nothingness illustrated perfectly in the instrumental sound collage "Hi Baku Shyo" (Japanese for Suffer Bomb Disease). The entire piece reeks of a dreary silence, a total lack of life. We snap out heaven and find ourselves in hell.

While Deceit is easily the most legitimate angry CD I've heard (in the sense that they're not angry to sell their music, but because they're actually angry), it is the brief moments of colorful humor that make it so good, such as in "Makeshift Swahili," where This Heat describe the interaction between a colonizer and the colonized with a veiled insult that would make Shakespeare proud. "Makeshift she sings in her native German. You try to understand what she's trying to say. She says you're only as good as the words you understand, and you, you don't understand a word." In a similar vein is the line in "Cenotaph" where Charles Hayward intones, "the war to end all war, and the war that came after that."

All of these elements come to a head in the stunningly powerful "A New Kind of Water," the title of which may refer to the radioactive water (also known as heavy water) that results from nuclear explosions. Starting with the straightforward, "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die," "A New Kind of Water" portrays the final hours before the explosion as This Heat frantically and futily try to alert the world to the danger it's in. Unfortunately, however, they "don't know either, what is the answer." They feel gravely misled - "we were told to expect more, and now that we've got more, we want more" (there's commercialism popping up again). For the final three minutes, we are presented with one of the most moving songs I have ever heard. While still angry, a sense of defeatism has crept into the song. There is nothing that can be done. "The size of it all carries us along, more is better, it's what we want." "You know from experience that - creature comforts, a house that's warm - your body would choose all this, of course, it's innate, we're selfish." The final stanza admits, "this nuclear state is our demise," and advises (to no one in particular), "hide away Peter, fly away Paul, who can watch as the Earth burns, shatters, and dies?"

A desert island disc for sure.

Thanks to syzygy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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