Mar 17, 2011
Austin Chronicle - 4 Stars for On The Hunt
Three brothers, two sets: Texas Latinate in triplicate. Amplified Heat's third LP, On the Hunt, shotguns the culmination of the little ol' local trio's decade of dues. Houston natives of Colombian decent, Jim (guitar), Chris (drums), and Gian Ortiz (bass) bleed the amps and drum mics open on an early ZZ Top-like dirt warble, the big rusty riffs of "Give It to Me" rising up from some humid metropolis in tempo-quaking destabilization. Bar rock of the basest kind, its back-molar blues and pool cue-cracking rhythms thump 'til eyes turn red. Blackout. Piston boogie "Lost" bundles 1960s/1970s psych blues into a mescaline capsule, while the abrupt gear jam of "What's It Gonna Be Will Be" shifts into Jim Ortiz's Cream-y leads, cutting through a coagulated pool of water moccasins. A vintage tube-amp solo fuses the song's gumbo of Gulf Coast soul exfoliation, "Louisiana Hobo Blues" then slumming in NOLA on an acoustic bang and twang, Jim's gut-string pluck a six-string and vocal garrote. Successor "Ain't Trying To Deny" snorts a rock & roll rail as produced by two-thirds of another local Latin brand, Omar and AJ Vallejo. "Stop, Drop, and Roll" and "Strong Arm" race neck and neck to the closing title track. Blood sport.