Hot Hot Heat/Moving Units : Glasgow Barfly

Ace Canadian newcomers light the disco-punk inferno

As their grimly functional moniker hints, Moving Units are the removal men of the punk-funk “revolution” – earnestly lugging around boxes of po-faced angularity and antique “jazz” bass as if music were a chore rather than, y’know, a reason to live. Which it is. Obviously.

On the other hand, there’s a fist. Specifically, there’s the knuckle-duster sandwich that is Hot Hot Heat – four Canadian sound-boffins with a PhD in How To Party. “This is really fun for us!” pants chief lungsmith Steve Bays, as new single ‘Bandages’ – recently banned by a jittery Radio 1, keen to play down anything to remind us that people somewhere are getting shot – unravels in a tangle of bleepy bits, mad guitars and bloody, shouty marvelousness. Well Hell, Steve, it’s fun for us too.

Frankly, there’s such a deep well of un-coolness at the volcanic core of the ‘Heat, it’s impossible not fall for them. Tonight, for the opening pop of their first British tour, they pummel seven shades of shame from the notion that no-wave is solely a churls’ game, lacing their bass-driven bag with everything from bittersweet college-pop (‘Get In Or Get Out’) and Anglophiliac quirkiness (‘More For Show’) to, crivens, Spinal Tap drumming (‘Le Le Low’). Uniquely, these fun-niks have refused to sacrifice pop for their art or, indeed, barking eccentricity in their endeavor to capture the mad geometry at the heart of the no-wave splash. Subsequently, every pop-shaped pearl – each plucked from corking LP Make Up The Breakdown – boasts an utterly disarming tendency to sound like XTC, Blondie, Weezer and Fugazi, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. “Phew”, splutters Steve, removing his jacket to reveal a T-shirt that bears the almost too-perfect legend ‘ODD FELLOWS’. “This is hot!”

Hot? The ‘Heat are on FIRE.

Sarah Dempster