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Formed in Portland, Oregon, USA, Heatmiser are an alternative rock quartet comprising Neil Gust (guitar, vocals), Elliott Smith (vocals), Sam Coomes (bass) and Tony Lash (drums). Much of their early reputation hinged on the group's songwriting flair - Smith's more pop-orientated efforts contrasting nicely with the darker, melancholic detachment of Gust. These qualities were evident on the group's first two albums, Dead Air and Cop And Speeder, both released by Frontier Records.

However, for 1996's Mic City Sons, which was produced by Lash, the emphasis was on creating a more seamless, compulsive record. As Gust told the press: 'We made a conscious effort to do something more complete than what we've done in the past. We're rarely satisfied with anything we do, but since we essentially built our own studio as we went along, we were able to weed out a lot of the problems.' By this time Smith had released his third solo album for Kill City Records, building an audience almost as large as Heatmiser's.
Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Sam Coomes
by Luke January 11, 2005

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