Heatmiser - Dead Air - Elliott Smith - Alt Rock Punk Grunge - Green Vinyl - 180 Grm LP

In stock
Heatmiser - Dead Air

Label: Frontier Records ‎
Cat#: 01866 31057-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Green Transparent
Country: US
Released: 1993
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Alternative Rock


A1 Still
A2 Candyland
A3 Mock-Up
A4 Dirt
A5 Bottle Rocket
A6 Blackout
A7 Stray

B1 Can't Be Touched
B2 Cannibal
B3 Don't Look Down
B4 Sands Hotel
B5 Lowlife
B6 Buick
B7 Dead Air

Heatmiser was, without a doubt, one of the most terribly underappreciated bands of the early 90s. Led by Elliott Smith and Neil Gust, the band played incredibly tight, loud pop, composed with a punky edge and an understanding of rhythm and structure that reached far beyond most of their contemporaries. This is a side of Elliott Smith that those who never knew of him before his solo career may find jarring, but since so many are fond of psychoanalyzing Smith's every utterance, this ought to provide plenty of good fodder for interpretation. And for those who just want a great rock album, there's plenty here for them, too.

I bought this album after seeing Heatmiser open for some other band in 1993; I liked them better than whoever was headlining, but some of the friends I went to the show with thought they were boring. A friend who used to be a DJ at our college station, and who first put me onto Fugazi and Sonic Youth, joined me in liking them, though. Yes, as somebody else complains, the songs on this album all sound kind of similar, but if you like the way they sound, that's not a problem, right? Those best-selling Elliott Smith albums all sound the same, too.

I listened to this album maybe a hundred times throughout the 1990s and enjoyed it more and more, but for some reason it didn't occur to me until about 2000 that Heatmiser might have put out other albums, or that they might still be in print. (I don't listen to radio, watch MTV, or read music magazines.) When I finally did a search online, I found that Elliott Smith had become a megastar, and gradually I've brought my collection up to date.
I do like the singer-songwriter-y sound of modern Smith and can hear it in some of the Heatmiser songs, but that sound is not what I liked about Heatmiser, which is more rock, punk, grunge, whatever you want to call it. So if you love XO and Smith's self-titled album, it's possible that you won't like this at all. You'll may, however, enjoy Mic City Sons, a Heatmiser album that's closer to XO and such but that still has the classic rock flavor of the other Heatmiser albums.

Take stock of "Dead Air" and realize that, like most good albums, the sonic variance is slim. All fifteen cuts on the earliest album from singer-songwriter Elliott Smith ("Good Will Hunting") and company's rock outfit fall into the category of "brash, loud and inventive."

Heatmiser here strike me as a jaded ballplayer nailing fifteen machine-thrown balls in a row out of the park. Each song is a loud, thundering crack of pop-smeared beauty. The blurry guitarwork is spot on, but Smith and Gust's fat and gritty fuzztones add a punk garnish to a pop platter. It's Elliott Smith rocking out, which actually turns out to be a bit like channeling Smith melodies through Richard Hell guitar. Throw in some moments that sound like a harder-edged early REM ("Bottle Rocket"), and we have a damn good band, if you think about it.

Heatmiser/Dead Air

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Heatmiser - Still

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Heatmiser - Blackout

The Portland, OR, band Heatmiser was best known for launching the career of singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, but other members of the group went on to have successful music careers long after Heatmiser's demise.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Gust went on to form the pop/rock band No. 2, while bassist Sam Coomes formed the popular indie pop duo Quasi with his then-wife, Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Drummer Tony Lash, who produced some of Heatmiser's material, went on to do production work with a variety of artists, including the Dandy Warhols, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Minder

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More Information
Condition New
Format LP
Label Frontier Records