The Heat Tape

The Heat Tape EP

The Heat Tape's members come from a variety of bands, but the two you'll most likely recognize are the Copyrights and Dear Landlord. (Those would be frontman Brett Hunter's other bands.) The roughshod pop-punk those bands employ have little to do with the Heat Tape, however—this is super-lo-fi garage punk,  seemingly tracked on the cheapest four-track tape possible. As a result, the songs struggle to make any sort of impression.

The four mid-tempo tracks they bash out in less than eight minutes on this self-titled EP sound like they were recorded through the walls—a couple rooms over. But because they're so brief, these songs seem rushed; they don't carry the energy or charisma needed to engage listeners. Some tempo changes or more significant volume dynamics could help the band immensely. Additionally, these tracks tend to get a good groove going, like the rhythmic thump of opener "Love And Sweat," and then not really go anywhere; it's too easy to zone out as they progress. On closer "Deaf And Blind," a slow vocal buildup gives way to a guitar-driven crescendo that promises something magical; instead, it's suddenly clipped off, the band repeat the refrain a couple more times, and they immediately shut the whole thing down.

The Heat Tape definitely seem like a fun side project for a bunch of guys, but when they turn their ideas into actual songs, the results are ultimately frustrating.

Underground Communique