Reviews Hot Hot Heat Elevator

Hot Hot Heat

Elevator

Hot Hot Heat has managed to weave in and out of the limelight in the last few years. Often compared to the Cure, they are able to hold onto the fringes of the mainstream thanks to the "new" new wave and dance rock movements. The single that broke them to the mainstream was the catchy yet repetitive "Bandages," which has a chorus that boasts "bandages on my legs and my arms from you/bandages, bandages, bandages/up and down my legs, my arms from you/bandages, bandages, bandages!" In true Hot Hot Heat fashion their latest single "Goodnight Goodnight," also repetitive, is a relative hit placing them back into position for adulation from the press.

They take their snarky attitudes from the stage to the studio on Elevator, their first album on a major record label. The album is quite abrasive as a result of the lyrical content; every track on the album either desecrates others or themselves-mostly others. With witty and biting lyrics accompanied by mocking instruments, it appears there is no room for laughter or an ego. The bouncy beats and the well-acclimated tempo, however, suggest otherwise.

Charming hooks and infectious beats dominate the most vindictive tracks. Roughly produced tracks "Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Soldier in a Box" both express socially unacceptable maliciousness in verses that would make Mean Girls proud. Who knew that talking behind someone's back could become an art? A perverse art. Lyrics parallel one another with a common theme of oblivious social isolation, whether it results from an invisible blockade or physical walls, as guitars chop away and drums crash into chaotic bliss. In "Goodnight Goodnight" vocalist Steve Bays tells off, in blistering verse, a soon to be ex-girlfriend with an extremely infectious chorus. Hot Hot Heat's insensitivity garners pity for the characters they victimize in their songs, but instead of penning letters of disgust, people will nod along to the beats they produce for the public.

There is another side of Hot Hot Heat that would suggest that they are merely insecure bullies that toss off flaws on others to cover up their lack of self-assurance. The lyrics in "Jingle Jangle" channel a more modern Arthur Miller in his ideas of the failure of the American Dream in his infamous play Death of a Salesman. Pulling existential philosophy from a romantic melody, they hint a vulnerable desperation that is not apparent in most of the songs. In contrast, the upbeat "Pickin' it Up" hits hard on a Cars comparison in an often loose comparison. From the very way Bays utters incomprehensible lyrics to the racy keys spell out a copyright infringement.

Elevator is filled with tunes that rarely surpass the three minute mark. The songs quickly come and go, but leave the listener humming the melody after the music has stopped. Teetering between overt confidence and failing insecurity, Hot Hot Heat maintain a constant flow of catching pop songwriting that will hopefully keep them in the limelight a little longer than in the past.

7.8 / 10Nancy
Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

7.8 / 10

7.8 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
Recent reviews

Pandemix

In Condemnation

8.9 / 10 Pandemix  - In Condemnation album cover

Pandemix are new to me, and they’re difficult to sum up in just a few words. That’s a complement. It’s punk by genre, but a few subgenre adjectives aren’t going ...

Cliff and Ivy

American Saints

4.5 / 10 Cliff and Ivy - American Saints album cover

Every now and then I come home from the supermarket and think to myself, while unpacking: I should not have gone there while being hungry. It is empirically proven that ...

Spirit Adrift

Divided By Darkness

9.0 / 10 Spirit Adrift - Divided By Darkness album cover

Spirit Adrift may have only been a band for five years or so, yet their output has been consistent (Divided by Darkness is their third full length since 2016) and it’s ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.