One would think the two sides of the Producers' "You Make the Heat" had been produced by two different producers. But Tom Werman (Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent) is the only one credited. The sides are as different as dusk and dawn: Side A is rugged, affecting power rock, each song four to five minutes long but fully realized and full of surprising touches. Side B, with five shorter songs, is also much more slight, cutesy power pop, radio fodder for the middle of the fast lane.
Three A songs stand out. "Back to Basics" has terse Elvis Costello verses and an aching Foreigner-style chorus that showcases the Producers' kinetic strengths. "Dear John" is a guilt-ridden story about the effect of that kind of letter, with Wayne Famous' vivid synthesizer figures evoking a startling variety of effects -- an emotional air-raid siren, a rocket zooming in for the kill, an anguished cry of death and/or despair. And "She Sheila," like "Operation," features tight Raspberries-style harmonies, as well as other Beatles echoes, encased by one of the most haunting introductions in years, a suggestion of mandolins and dulcimers coursing over Bryan Holmes' razor- sharp percussion. Bright textural flourishes abound on this celebratory album from the wilds of Atlanta.
ON RECORD, ON STAGE
THE ALBUM THE PRODUCERS -- You Make the Heat (Portrait ARR-38060).
THE PRODUCERS -- Tonight at 8 at the Wax Museum.