TAX THE HEAT Change Your Position

TAX THE HEAT
Change Your Position

NUCLEAR BLAST

7/10

HARD ROCK: The final bulbs are sadly burning out on AC/DC’s long, illustrious career. And with that inevitability, the rock world will eventually scurry to find a replacement band—one that worships four on the floor beats, driving bass, and anthemic rocking guitar riffs fronted by a barrel chested brawler/good time lyricist. A band that gets pints raised to the sky and makes everyday feel like a Friday night. The UK’s Tax the Heat may have sunk to the bottom of the dumb band name mine, and their lyrical stance is hardly apolitical, but there’s an unwitting confidence to their quirky brand of rock ‘n’ roll where bluesy, basic pub rock chord progressions and a pounding backbeat are elemental ingredients. “On the Run” could be a summer driving anthem, “Money in the Bank” is an outdoor festival sing-along looking for an outdoor festival, and “We Are Consumers” has a shuffle that ponders Nickelback’s sex appeal beyond the confines of strip clubs. On the other end, moments of excessive percussion, guitar effects, and studio tricks (title track, “Playing With Fire”) plop unnecessary bells and whistles into the mix which distracts from the band’s strength as a bass/drums/two guitar rock band. Tax the Heat’s flair for variety likely won’t make them recipients of the AC/DC crown, but somewhere arses will be rocked. ~ Kevin Stewart-Panko