Today, legendary 90s indie rock group Heatmiser — comprised of Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, and Brandt Peterson — have announced The Music of Heatmiser, a new, 29-song compilation of previously unheard recordings, out October 6th via Third Man Records. Alongside this announcement, the band have shared a version of “Lowlife” from their 1992 demo cassette along with a live video filmed during a 1993 performance in Fort Collins, CO.
Gust shares, “Tony found a bunch of forgotten recordings and started mixing them and sending them to me. We were struck by the freewheeling energy of the band; you could hear how much fun we were having. In 1992 we could barely afford the studio so it all had to be done really fast. When we put the cassette together, we wanted it to start like a punch in the face. That’s ‘Lowlife.’”
The track, formally released in 1993 on Heatmiser’s debut full length Dead Air, comes from the band’s initial demo set, “The Music of Heatmiser,” recorded in the summer of 1992 in Portland, OR and sold at local record shops and shows to build hype for the upstart group. It’s guitar rock, full-blast, through 100 watt Marshall half stacks — which might shock those only familiar with Smith’s whispered, delicate solo work — when grunge was ascendant in the Pacific Northwest and the Portland scene was exploding. Fast, tight, loud, fun.
The legend of Heatmiser began when Neil Gust and Elliott Smith arrived in Portland together in the summer of 1991 to start a new band with drummer/producer Tony Lash. Within a year they added bassist Brandt Peterson on bass, and began playing across the West Coast while demoing dozens of songs for their first LP. Across their brief but essential career, the sound of the band rapidly evolved, but this is Heatmiser right out of the gate. New, energetic, excited, moving quickly through styles, totally broke and making it work in whatever way possible.
Until now, these recordings were available only to the lucky few who were able to attend these early shows. Now, the original set of 6 songs, along with 23 demos, live tracks, rare versions and never before released songs, will be available on vinyl and streaming for the first time through this extraordinary release.
The Music of Heatmiser Tracklist:
1. Lowlife (‘92 Cassette)
2. Bottle Rocket (‘92 Cassette)
3. Buick (‘92 Cassette)
4. Just A Little Prick (‘92 Cassette)
5. Dirt (‘92 Cassette)
6. Mightier Than You (‘92 Cassette)
7. Can’t Be Touched (Cavity Search Single)
8. Wake (Cavity Search Single)
9. Stray (Cavity Search Single)
10. Dead Air (Demo)
11. Sands Hotel (Demo)
12. Mock Up (Demo)
13. Cannibal (Demo)
14. Candyland (Demo)
15. Still (Demo)
16. Man Camp
17. Laying Low
18. Bloody Knuckles
19. Father Song
23. Black Out (Live On KBOO)
24. Bottle Rocket (Live On KBOO)
25. Dirt (Live On KBOO)
26. Still (Live On KBOO)
27. Candyland (Live On KBOO)
28. Don’t Look Down (Live On KBOO)
29. Lowlife (Live On KBOO)