"How Do You Like the Sound of That?" (Arclight; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

This Austin, Texas based trio are comprised of the Ortiz brothers with Jim on guitar and vocals, Chris on drums and Gian on bass. Chris and Jim have actually been playing in bands together for almost twenty years. They all share a love of blues, boogie and some heavier influences as well with the most obvious being Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix and perhaps early ZZ Top. 

At times the music on this CD sounds like it could have come straight from 1971 or so. In fact, it isn't until maybe the fourth track that you begin to hear some more modern influences mixed in. At times the vocals contain a more modern flavor and it works for the most part, but at times might be a bit below the music. 

There are also bits and pieces of the music here that let us know that these guys have heard some hardcore albums at some point as well. The playing and especially the rhythm section are amazingly tight for the bulk of the record. 

It's an album that pulled me in immediately with its huge grooves and easy feel. It's obvious that the Ortiz brothers have spent quite a bit of time in basements, garages, clubs and the like sharpening their skills. My biggest concern is that they do stick so much to a retro sound. Personally, I would like to see more blending of modern influences. I think that perhaps Amplified Heat needs to define themselves a little more so they don't get labeled as being just a "retro band." Still, they obviously have the talent to do more so they may indeed be on their way to establishing themselves more individually.

Amplified Heat: Jim Ortiz - guitars, vocals; Chris Ortiz - drums; Gian Ortiz - bass, backing vocals.

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"Amplified Heat" (Arclight; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

ZZ Top meets punk rock best describes the trio of brothers that comprise Amplified Heat. Emblazoned with desert rock swagger carrying songs like "She Drank That Wine" and "I Don't Care" from the clutches of the blues and dirtying them up with the pretenses of the most notorious rock around, the Tex-Mex shuffle meets West Coast punk sound portrayed here touches a vast spectrum. 

Hell, who doesn't like at least one Skynyrd song? Amplified Heat seems best at hemming and hawing with their metal voice in full effect in a dusty bar in Austin, TX, as they plot in joining Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and Ted Nugent at the head and twisting through a Cream-like jam, lighting the stage on fire from the electric rock'n'roll experience. 

This masterfully recorded eponymous seven-track offering truly captures the band's bluesy essence and hard rock soul, giving this disc the vintage sound to match the band's heavy acid-hippie rock explosive momentum. 

Amplified Heat: Jim Ortiz - guitars, vocals; Chris Ortiz - drums; Gian Ortiz - bass, backing vocals. Paul Etheridge also appears, providing piano and Hammond organ on "Dead Man Walking" and "Mornings Warning."

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"In For Sin" (Arclight; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Motorhead's Lemmy has been quoted as saying that he doesn't think of Motorhead as a heavy metal band - he thinks of it as a blues band. My bet is that the guys in Amplified Heat feel much the same way.

Although never as heavy as anything on a Motorhead CD, "In For Sin" is a raw, rockin', bluesy CD that, at varying times, brings to mind the music of the aforementioned Motorhead, ZZ Top, early AC/DC and/or Fu Manchu and (gasp!) even Johnny Cash.

"In For Sin" begins with the frenzied title track, whose opening sounds more than a little like a classic Motorhead tune, although with stripped down guitars. (Interestingly, "Trapped," which comes eight tracks later, sounds an awful like Motorhead's "Metropolis.") Track 4, "Just a Junkie," is a pure blues tune that ZZ Top or George Thorogood could easily have recorded. "Fever" starts out slow and then builds to a punk rock fury while "Drivin'" brings to mind classic, "Ring of Fire"-era Johnny Cash. 

As you can tell from the few descriptions above, "In For Sin" is a cornucopia of rock'n'roll sounds and it doesn't always work. Sometimes, you just wish the band would choose one way or another to go. At others, it seems like everything blends together.

Still, "In For Sin" is an interesting CD in that it is so very different. Great? Maybe not. But it's definitely music for its own sake.

Amplified Heat: Jim Ortiz - guitars, vocals; Chris Ortiz - drums, tambourine, maracas; Gian Ortiz - bass, backing vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 20 May 2024 13:38:49 -0400.