“H.E.A.T II” is the sixth album from Swedish rock band H.e.a.t and it will be released on February 21, 2020 via earMUSIC, and will be available as CD Digipak, Vinyl and Digital formats.
Who are H.e.a.t though? Well, if you have not yet heard of them , the band are as listed below, and already they have built up a solid fan base from their live performances which have already led to them supporting some high profile bands, including The Scorpions.
Erik Grönwall - Vocals
Dave Dalone - Guitar
Jimmy Jay - Bass
Jona Tee - Keyboards
Don Crash – Drums
With this album, the band have taken the decision to produce it themselves and try to get back to a more basic sound, one closer to their early days, and although there is that sense of “the new band in town” on this album, I am not sure this is the right direction, and perhaps continuing with the slicker, more studio produced sounds of their previous album was the direction to go in. There are a few reasons for thinking this, but I can see why the choice was made too. As a band, H.e.a.t seem to be coming to a crossroads and have to decide how much they are willing to play along with the music business that they are now a part of. The band have already released in 2019 a live album, “Live At Sweden Rock Festival”, so that box has already been ticked, and trying to re-capture that “first album sound” again to me seems like an elusive chase. Another reason for my thoughts is that the band are showing some very promising songwriting skills, and some of the songs on this album can easily live as both “live” and “studio” versions.
I have not yet seen H.e.a.t perform live, and when writing this review I try to picture that event in my head, and one song from this album, “We Are Gods” has the potential to be a huge live-set anthem for this band. The band also make perfect radio play songs too, and “Dangerous Ground” I can so easily hear playing on someone’s car radio late at night as they drive down an open American highway.
H.e.a.t II is a finely produced package by a very talented band of musicians, and there are many good tracks on the album; “Nothing To Say” is the one that is staying with me after any play of this album.
H.e.a.t as a band have everything that any rock band would want to have in their sound, but is that enough to give this band the break they need? I hear so many influences in the music of H.e.a.t, and that is not a bad thing, but I am always waiting for something that just musically, lyrically, or arrangement wise makes me just stop and say “that is different”. That rarely happens now, but somehow I feel that H.ea.t. do have the songwriting ability to really surprise me on an upcoming album, they just need that elusive chance to get heard above the rest of what is out there at the moment.
HEAT II TRACK LISTING
1. Rock Your Body
2. Dangerous Ground
3. Come Clean
5. We Are Gods
7. One By One
8. Nothing To Say
9. Heaven Must Have Won An Angel
10. Under The Gun
Review by Tom King