HeatSeeker’s self-titled debut reworks the not-so-secret ingredients of rock n’ roll to bring some much appreciated musical diversity to the local loud crowd.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, Fredericton needs more metal bands. And when I say metal, what I really mean is more loud, aggressive groups. That could be punk or thrash or in this case, heavy-edged rock n’ roll. Because let’s face it, we’re living in troubled times. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, at least not all the time. There’s a lot to be mad about, and is there really any better way to dance out your frustration than being washed over by the sound of loud, sweaty, seemingly overbearing musicians barking out the hits from a small stage in a dark, crowded club? No. The answer is no. At least from where I stand, somewhere near the back of the room so as not to spill my beer, or have someone spill their beer on me. Maybe I’m alone on this, but I don’t think I am (the band thing, not the back of the club thing). I’m not a God fearing man, but on those rare occasions I choose to pray, I’m usually asking The Powers That Be to bring me (us, that is) more loud music in any form. It’s therapy. It’s catharsis. It’s important.
As more and more musicians get to brushing off the dust of the past few years, my appetite for loudness is becoming more and more satisfied. First came Painsaw with its thrash infused mix of Judas Priest sounding rhythms and Gwar-like humour. Not to mention one of the greatest band names of all time. And now, HeatSeeker. What is this? Christmas?
HeatSeeker made their live debut at The Cap on May 21 and followed things up a few weeks later with a self-titled full-length album. Billed as “featuring members of Hard Charger and Neighbourhood Watch,” I came into this album with a series of preconceived notions as to what I could or should expect. If I’m being totally honest, I expected HeatSeeker to sound like Hard Charger without Tom Blizzard’s vicious dog vocals – fast and loud with incomprehensible lyrics that work as an instrument all their own, keeping pace with the band’s guitars and top-shelf tempos. In the case of Hard Charger, that’s a winning combination, but I wasn’t sure we needed a duplicate. Thankfully, my expectations were way off the mark. I should have known. HeatSeeker are, after all, named after a song by AC/DC. This isn’t the first time I was late to the party. And it won’t be the last.
While HeatSeeker fit somewhere within my surface level (and admittedly narrow minded) assumptions and/or hopes, the band is far from a carbon copy of Hard Charger or Neighborhood Watch, Painsaw or any other band currently populating the local scene. Nestled somewhere between speed metal and good old rock n’ roll, the band’s ten-track debut moves fast yet avoids the exhaustion that can sometimes come packaged with “metal”. Midnight Train, Lycanthropy and Secret Society are three great examples of how this group-made-up-of-other-groups have carved out their own place by reworking the not-so-secret ingredients of rock n’ roll to bring some much appreciated musical diversity to the loud crowd.
In summary: What is HeatSeeker? HeatSeeker is a great band name. HeatSeeker is an outstanding heavy rock album. And HeatSeeker is (most likely) your new favourite band, if you dig loud and local even a smidgen.
Cover photo of HeatSeeker guitarist Dave Cook by Jess Ey. Respectfully lifted from facebook.com/HeatSeekerRocknRoll