This Heat

The Peel Sessions

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This John Peel session by the quintessential avant rock trio of Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, and Gareth Williams surfaced in 1996 -- 19 years after the recording dates in the BBC studios. Fans of their indispensable self-titled debut will be floored, in that one could only wonder if the bracing energy of that album's opening cut, "Horizontal Hold," could actually be topped. In fact, The Peel Sessions almost surpasses the brilliance of their debut, and the deranged artistry of the second album, Deceit, is astonishing to hear arranged in a live setting, where the studio albums give the impression of being constructed as musique concrète in the studio. The shifting time signatures and looping grooves are produced with a tougher, harder electric sound than the studio works. One wonders how they did it simply with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and live tape machines as the battery. The Peel Sessions gives a great indication of This Heat's intensity as a live group and includes renditions that surpass the album versions in every sense as well as containing some of their most inspired improvisation on record.