The District Heat is a four-piece indie rock band from Calgary who recently released this a full-length self-titled album The District Heat. They cover a couple of different sub-genres under the indie rock umbrella and their sound can bear comparisons to bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Weezer and Queens of the Stone Age.
Musically, the group keeps it simple from a technical perspective. Most of the songs revolve around power chords, root notes and lead work that any semi competent guitar player could easily pull off. There's nothing wrong with that as punk rock continually proves again and again but if you are the type that needs Satriani guitar leads and Neil Peart drumming this might not be up your alley. The District Heat is in the business of making friendly, easy on the ears type songs. The music is often predictable and never threw me for a loop. These songs are radio ready material that the masses can sing along to.
The band’s biggest strength is their vocal harmonies. There were a number of times where their vocal harmonies helped decorate a song that needed a push. As far as the songs go the band was largely hit or miss for me. They start off strong with "Mask," which has a start and stop type feel to that of Queens of the Stone Age. That being said, they don't have the onslaught of energy that Queens of the Stone Age bring to the table. "Slingshot Stride" has its moments but doesn't completely hit the mark while "Whisper" contains enjoyable guitar picking and timing changes the band should have worked more.
As the album progresses the band never goes full on poppy goodness and doesn't rock out enough for me to notice. Songs like "Wallflower" and "Moon Walking Is For Giants" sound like they could be theme songs for ‘90s sitcoms. Catchy, melodies that get stuck in your head whether you want them to or not, that type of thing.
The District Heat may have some impact on casual music fans who prefer bands like The Killers and Fountains of Wayne but people who lean towards unique pop/rock acts like Dirty Projectors, of Montreal or Real Estate won't find much of interest here.
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