The Dirty Little Heaters
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The Dirty Little Heaters

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The Heaters' Reese McHenry has a voice that can rattle chandeliers at 50 paces. Not just with power but with the bluesy depth of Big Mama Thornton, where everything she sings sounds a little, well, dirty. The Heaters are now a trio: With bassist Rob Walsh (formerly of the Spinns) and Dave Perry (Jett Rink), they nod to heavy metal riffs and heavy psychedelics, all tempered by McHenry's soulful wail—unmatchable 'round these parts. - Independent Weekly



From the start, reputation and its expectations were the albatross strung around the neck of the second incarnation of Durham's Dirty Little Heaters: Three years ago, Reese McHenry (nee Gibbs) and Melissa Thomas were a blustery ball of blooz-rock attitude, blasting out of Durham's gathering tide of idiosyncratic acts with a primal stomp and some hardened soul singing. That band's bitter breakup instigated a brief politics of division in the city's small but busy music community, especially after McHenry grafted the name to a new trio with ex-Spinn Rob Walsh and drummer Dave Perry, once of Jett Rink and Fake Swedish. Some people hoped to dismiss the band before it had even played. But if they're listening to Fatty Don't Feel Good—the too-short seven-inch debut from Heaters 2.0—those notions should be null.
A cage-rattling declaration of independence, Fatty comprises two contagious and concise jolts of analogue aggression, commanded by McHenry's howl-at-the-world voice. A-side "The Dry Wait" hits like Dead Moon straightening its aim in a direct, focused, mid-tempo, distorted pounce. McHenry—who's earned comparisons to Janis Joplin and Grace Slick but delivers with a sneer that's more confident than those comparisons suggest—offers images of flashing lights in dark rooms and big engine blocks roaring down quiet roads. "Who's your baby now?" she inquires, demanding with her tone that there'd best be just one answer. Despite its coy title, B-side "Untitled" exclaims confrontation from one groove to the next, McHenry offering advice about karma, weapons and adults stomping like little kids. It's a perfect fit, the sort of personal track that feels like a rallying call for anyone with conflict at hand. Walsh and Perry don't busy the backing. Instead, they work to drive their leader's points home, like an army bolstering a bark that you hope scene politics never silences.
- Independent


The Heaters, on the other hand, often look ready to burn dollar bills, the ferocity of Reese Gibbs-McHenry's tortured blues pours forth such fire. The trio's rhythmic din rumbles beneath her. - Blotter


Behold the might of The Dirty Little Heaters, a powerful trio whose diminutive name does anything but justice to the heft of its sound. That sound is something like the greasiest, ballsiest garage-punk band in the darkest, smokiest dive bar you've ever encountered, fronted by Grace Slick. Indeed Heaters' frontwoman Reese McHenry carries that same depth and richness in her howls and croons, making her voice the band's centerpiece. This shouldn't discount the band's buzzing groove-punk, which on this B-side rides a spring-loaded bassline through sheets of amp-fuzz and a battery of drums. Just know that it's all there clearing the way for McHenry's soul-inflected wonder. —Bryan Reed - Independent


This should really come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Durham’s Dirty Little Heaters in concert, but Reese McHenry can really sing. I mean, damn. That voice is perfectly utilized on the group’s debut, a 7″ single entitled Fatty Don’t Feel Good, to be released Saturday night at Duke Coffeehouse.
The very nature of the format is perfect for the quick blasts of the Heaters, with McHenry’s voice cutting through the rapid-fire guitar and drums instrumentation. It’s garage rock done right, garage rock done loud and fast. And then it is over. And then you flip the thing to the b-side and do it all again.
The group really is perfect for this format. Hitting you hard and fast right in the chest before allowing little breathing room before coming right back at you harder than before.
- Daily Tar Heel


Raleigh has no shortage of kickass rockbands, but I'd hate to bet on any of 'em up against the Dirty Little Heaters in a fight, fair or otherwise.
From Triangle Rock Aug. 10

- Triangle Rock


Discography

Got It? 7 song EP, released 2006
Fatty Don't Feel Good 7" released 2008
4 song EP released 2008
Full length, titled Champions of Imperfection, due October, 2009

Photos

Bio

The Dirty Little Heaters began as a duo in 2005 with Reese McHenry playing guitar and singing, and Melissa Thomas playing the drums. After breaking up in 2006, McHenry went on to reinvent the Heater's by picking the greatest rhythm section in North Carolina, Rob Walsh (The Spinns) and Dave Perry (Jett Rink). The three reconvened in November, 2007 as the revised Dirty Little Heaters. Playing with each other for a short time, the band began progressing musically until developing a signature sound. The Heater's began receiving local and then national press with the release of their 7", Fatty Don't Feel Good. In February, 2009, the addition of keyboardist Doug White (Travesties) rounded out the heavy and plodding sound. This band has a devastating singer who sounds a bit like Steve Marriot, Roky Erickson and Beth Ditto. The rhythm section paves the way for Reese's monstrous voice and catchy songs. The songwriting has become more intricate with the addition of Rob, Dave, and Doug, letting the songs build interest and breath with the keys and bass. These four friends are influenced by Dead Moon, The Who, The Shirelles, Humble Pie, The Faces, T-Rex, The Beach Boys, The Killers, Kings of Leon, and Venom.
This is a tough band in every sense of the word.