This Heat

Health & Efficiency

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

This two-song EP from 1980 showcases what This Heat did so brilliantly, if so far below the radar that it is only posthumously that the groundbreaking British trio gets recognized: somehow they manage to be astronomically influential yet polarizing in the same breath. The eight-minute A-side, "Health and Efficiency" (titled from a bandmember's in-joke about the benefits of bicycling to the recording studio) is an insistent and pulsating Krautrock projectile, hurtling forward anthemically on herky-jerky discordant guitar splatter and a pummeled and abused drum kit. It's an obvious precedent to latter-day experimental rockers like Sonic Youth and Le Fly Pan Am. The 11-minute B-side, "Graphic/Varispeed," is an epic sprawl of barely shifting drone that can just as easily hypnotize the listener as provoke them to rip it from the turntable in a fury. Graciously, the listener was originally encouraged to play it at the speed of their choice, 16, 33-1/3, 45, or 78 rpm. The band's assertion that "it sounds great at all speeds" leaves it up to the listener to agree or rebut.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
8:11
2
11:21
blue highlight denotes track pick