Tax The Heat - ‘Fed To The Lions’ (Nuclear Blast) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 03:40

Tax The Heat LionsAmongst all the hustle and bustle and media attention that surrounded the initial launch of Bristol based rockers Tax The Heat onto the UK rock scene, without actually hearing them it would have been easy to think of them as being nothing more than the RPLA of the 21st Century. All hype and nice trousers but with no charisma or songs. I must admit I was almost at the point of thinking that myself when I stood arms crossed on top of a sun-drenched Welsh mountain a couple of years back waiting for the quartet to make their Steelhouse Festival debut. Then the guys from across the water started playing and I immediately knew I was wrong and for once every word of the aforementioned hype and every penny spent playing those high profile tours was, I felt, in fact justified.


I quickly snapped up a copy of the band’s debut 10” single from the merch tent that day and sat back and waited for the full length debut to follow, and I waited, and waited. In fact it’s been over two years since that initial vinyl release for ‘Fed To The Lions’ to finally see the light of day, and its coming out via Nuclear Blast of all labels, but boy oh boy has it been worth the wait, because this record is an absolute corker.


Kicking off with the slide driven ‘Highway Home’ the first thing that strikes me is that Tax The Heat are thankfully no bunch of rock dandies following the latest musical fad for retro for the sake of retro, no, what Alex Veale, Jack Taylor, Antonio Angotti and JP Jacyshyn do is take their influences mix them together and spew out one glorious and infections tune after another. Case in point is lead track from the album, ‘Animals’, which is, to my ears at least, what a mellower Danko Jones jamming with ‘….Advice’ era Soulwax might actually sound like. This song has a chorus built to demolish arenas and a pre-chorus that the mighty Chris Goss himself would have been proud to have penned.


It is in fact the larger than life influence of Goss that perhaps looms largest over ‘Fed To The Lions’ the vocals of Veale having the same lush melodic qualities as the Masters Of Reality main man and in many ways songs like ‘Under Watchful Eye’, ‘Hit Me Hard’ and the absolutely amazing ‘Caroline’ could have easily have fallen of that band’s first two records for Def American, such is the quality of the songwriting, and if you are going to be compared to anyone it might as well be the originator of the whole Desert Rock sound, right?


I’m not sure they have too much dusty sand blowing up the Portway these days though and due to this tracks like ‘Devil’s Daughter’ and ‘Some Sympathy’ switch the focus to more hardnosed traditional British rock, and in the case of the former there’s even place for some Stooges one fingered piano playing going on deep in the mix, something that producer Evansson has really nailed to maximum effect.


‘Fed To The Lions’ is an exceptional debut record produced by a band I was quick to wrongly assume might be nothing more than future Joe Brown catalogue models. So, let’s set the record straight here, this is a fearless release, and one that Nuclear Blast should be very proud of having on their roster. Now all that’s left is to see these songs live….bring it on me babbers!

 approved image lrg 2013


To pick up your copy of 'Fed To The Lions' - CLICK HERE