This Heat – Paper Hats (1981)

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The opening track shortly leads to the rave-up “Paper Hats” with its brawny, pouncing rhythms and subtly acrobatic guitar lines. This is a piece with several sections, none of them having too much to do with each other. Some, like the lengthy outro, sound like archetypical math-rock, with repetitive, complicated rhythmic patterns, while the brief middle section is more viscerally dynamic, or perhaps even “noisy.” Lyrically, the band was as eclectic: “Well, what do we expect?/ Paper hats?/ Or maybe even roses?/ The sound of explosions?/ Oh no.” I’d like to know what they expected, but I’m not sure what they got instead, and am certainly in the dark about to whom they protested.

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