Bristol-based TAX THE HEAT have just released their second album, 'Change Your Position', which is being described as typical TTH whilst moving them to the next level. The band's well-received debut album established them as an exciting new UK rock band, while their eagerly-awaited second album pushes their bluesy and ‘60s inspired alt rock further, yet retains that signature sound with a modern twist on vintage rock n roll. The album was recorded "live" - as in all musicians were in the same room and recorded the songs together rather than individually.
'Money in the Bank' is the perfect opening track to the new album; that familiar bluesy undertone which will please existing fans as well as luring new fans to the TTH stable. The bass is deeper than the Earth's core and the song is catchy as f***. There is that definitive and distinctive Veale vocal layered with a beautiful diminutive guitar solo that leaves me wanting more. I love this track. Great opener!
The title track, 'Change Your Position', is a look at today's society and its ills, asking the listener to look at their actions and decisions and maybe rethink some of these. It has an upbeat and almost lighthearted feel despite the serious subject-matter, and demonstrates both Veale's songwriting and vocal range. The song is full of energy and danceworthiness, making it commercially attractive, while the lyrics have meaning and intention.
'Playing With Fire' has a throbbing drum beat and a tortured vocal which, alongside some brilliant guitar work, builds to a heavier menacing chorus. 'All That Medicine' - for me the best on the album - is a deep and growling track with smooth, sultry vocals and a funky undercurrent. It's simple yet effective, and incredibly infectious! 'On the Run' is an upbeat track with a delicious high pitched vocal, again showing off Veale's range. The rhythm section in 'The Last Time' has me slayed. The beat pulsates and is overlaid with a gentle vocal, again building to a chorus which is charismatic and melodic. The track slows just before 3 minutes, a tender instrumental before reaching a climactic end. Stunning.
'Taking the Hit' has a pop edge, high-pitched vocal and tantalising screeching. D.I.S.C.O. This is a style new to the band and I love it. It's fast-paced, innocent fun with a little bit of dirty sex thrown in (in the form of some seriously bangin riffs, obviously…) Divine. The rhythm sections grabs me again in 'My Headspace' - frenetic drumming and a fervid bassline, with the guitars knitted through. This track was my first intro to the new album and the fresh and contemporary, hard and heavy timbre left me searching out more. It's a pocket rocket though as it's under 3 minutes long #sadface
'We Are Consumers' is essentially feel-good rock with swagger and attitude; the vocal in the verse is radio-friendly while the hard rock chorus fulfils that craving in a true rock fan. 'Cut Your Chains' has yet more pop-like hooks and catchy riffs. The song is about being true to yourself and freeing yourself from expectations, living your life on your own terms - a subject matter which is very relatable and, combined with the unforgettable ear-worm stamp this leaves, will make it a firm favourite with fans.
That smooth velvety vocal is back in the forefront of 'Wearing a Disguise', a fun track with heavy chugging guitar, which is fresh yet somehow familiar, a pure rock out track which demands your full attention. The closing track, 'The Symphony Has Begun', has a slow narrative style verse which develops into a fabulously melodious chorus which takes me back to ‘90s alt rock classics. It's full of raw emotion, soaring vocals, and impressive instrumentals; an elegant interpretation with a majestic all-consuming presence.
This is an album with no fillers, all tracks are strong and individual which combine to form a compelling journey into the very minds of the band. TTH are set apart, unique, and their second album is tougher and more evolved. They doth their caps to real classic rock from long ago, and they do this extremely well, adding a contemporary flourish and a smidgeon of attitude and confidence to create a compelling second album - authentic TTH with splashes of the new and unexpected.
Alex Veale - vocals/ guitar
Jack Taylor - drums
Antonio Angotti - bass
JP Jacyshyn - guitar
Money in the Bank
Change Your Position
Playing With Fire
All That Medicine
On the Run
The Last Time
Taking the Hit
We Are Consumers
Cut Your Chains
Wearing a Disguise
The Symphony Has Begun