Hot Hot Heat - Make Up The Breakdown
Hot Hot Heat come from Victoria on Vancouver Island. The Canadian band recorded their album with Jack Endino who produced Nirvana's seminal work "Bleach". Their debut single "Bandages" was proclaimed by another publication to be "the most insatiable piece of punk funk this century" and they've received superlatives and the seal of approval from Radio One's Jo Whiley, Kerrang and XFM. If this wasn't enough Hot Hot Heat are about to play their debut full scale tour of Europe in May.
"No, Not Now" has vocalist Steve Bays coming across as a transatlantic Robert Smith with his unmistakable, strangulated histrionics. It's good old fashioned rock'n'roll without any unnecessary pretentious yearnings. The backline has the slightest touch of electronica, but it never intrudes and the healthy disregard for modern technology is a recurring strength on an amazing album. The band may have retro undertones, but the immediacy it evokes on each track is unforgettable. The hook on "Bandages" is pure nostalgic delight with an energetic sing-a-long chorus already filling indie disco's the country over and if you haven't heard it by now you're already dead. Dante's choppy guitars add momentum on "Oh, Goddammit" in which Bays seems to be squeezing out the lyrics of his life in one last breath. "This Town" has the frenzied delivery of Dexy's Midnight Runners with the offbeat outlook of They Might Be Giants. The infectious hook driven melodies are matched with lyrics reflecting the desire for change and escape. "Save The S.O.S" is raw, intense but fun and has the intensity of Hot Hot Heats live performances.
"Make Up The Breakdown" is quite simply the best album you're going to hear this year. There are elements of ska, blues, soul and on the closing track "In Cairo", a haunting ballad, which is an indication that Hot Hot Heat aren't one trick ponies and have hidden depth.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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