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Tax The Heat: Fed To The Lions

The buzz around Fed To The Lions, the debut album from UK hopefuls Tax The Heat, isn't just that coming from their fuzzed up amps, or from the anticipatory crowd at their recent (and by all accounts hugely successful) album launch show. Indeed so loud has the clamour been around this band that I actually had to check that Fed… isn't the third or fourth release from a band already boasting a large, faithful following. What the Taxers are boasting however is a gritty sound that links the past to the Royal Blood set with enough conviction that the accusations of trend chasing should, on the whole, slide to the floor rather than stick to the wall.

Free or AC/DC are bandied about with a carefree oomph, while the thick solid guitars suggest this lot may well have what it takes to cross over into the mainstream. If there's a rub, then that's maybe it right there, the whiff of a possibility that the true rock set may see these lads as another Kings Of Leon and leave them to the 'cool kids', a worry. The title track is full of grit and strut, the beat smacked down hard, the riff so dirty you couldn't even dream of introducing it to your mum, and yet under it all is a politeness that suggests that if you did, it may well wipe its feet before meekly accepting a cup of tea and a biscuit. "Highway Home" adds a little more threat and mystery and it has to be said that the stoner side hinted at here isn't unwelcome, even if the point is always the singalong chorus.

Maybe I sound a little grumpy and doubtless some will be thoroughly enthralled by these enthusiastic young lads. After all, "Animals" houses enough vim and vigour that Mick Jagger would be all a quiver, while "Devil's Daughter" fuses together The Black Crowes with a modernised solo Slash edge and does it well. Add in that "Caroline" may just be Blackberry Smoke lite and there really should be more than enough to snag my ear… and it is, sort of. For no matter how many times I spin Fed To The Lions, I can't help but get the feeling that Tax The Heat are holding back rather than belting it out with everything they've got. That frustration allayed to the feel that the charts are where TTH have their eye (and nothing wrong with that mind) leaves me ultimately unfulfilled by a debut that still hints at good times ahead. I'm intrigued to hear what comes next, but not excited enough to hold my breath in the meantime.

Track Listing
1. Highway Home
2. Animals
3. Under Watchful Eye
4. Fed To The Lions
5. Hit Me Hard
6. Stood On The Platform To Leave
7. Some Sympathy
8. Devil's Daughter
9. Learn To Drown (You're Wrong)
10. Caroline
11. Your Fool
12. Lost Our Way

Added: April 15th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Tax The Heat online
Hits: 1477
Language: english

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