Published Jan 23, 2017The sound of Montreal's Heat is a melange of guitar rock influences — '90s lo-fi, shoegaze, NYC punk, UK indie — but following a three-track demo and EP that laid those influences bare, their debut album reveals a band that have managed to find their own voice.
Thank singer and primary songwriter Susil Sharma for that. His vocal style remains the most identifiable part of the band — he's swapped a vocal style that previously aped Lou Reed's drawl for the raspy monotone of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim Reid — but the intentionally flat melodies suit the band's otherwise busy sound well. Chiming guitar leads interlock with one another, anchored by a tight, driving rhythm section. Washes of guitar and pulsing synths are deployed throughout, and the whole thing sounds positively massive thanks to production from L.A. producer Alex Newport (City and Colour, Death Cab for Cutie).
Sharma's vocal ticks will be a nonstarter for some, and his propensity for rhyming words like "solipsistic" with "cherry lipstick" won't help, but he's an incredibly talented songwriter who has stocked Overnight with soaring anthems that feel uncannily familiar. It loses some momentum in its final third, but it demands repeated listens anyway. (The Hand)