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Hot Hot Heat - Elevator

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 24 / 6 / 2005

Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
Label: Wea
Format: CD


Appealing, but ultimately unfulfilling indie dance rock on second album from the once touted Hot Hot Heat

After their breakout heat, the exuberant 'Bandages', Hot Hot Heat’s debut album was a bit of a letdown. Not a bad record, by any means, but one on which the best song had already become too familiar. After a lay-off, during which other bands have cashed in on the danceable indie craze that 'Bandages' started, the band return with a second album. This time, they are on a major label. It’s hard to feel that they haven’t simply calculated what will make a likely hit. Playing it safe will never yield great music, and this album is not a great album. The band are so obviously fans of The Cure, early Elvis Costello, The Strokes and 'Dookie'- era Green Day it hurts. They rely on time honoured structures, and familiar sounding melodies. The album feels like the sort of album a marketing man might just dream up, which is its biggest flaw of course. But it isn’t actually that bad. I’ve found myself wanting bouncy pop rock, and I’ve found myself putting this on when I don’t want to try that hard. The stabbing guitar lines work, the keyboards are great, the vocals enthusiastic and the drumming relentlessly impressive. ‘Goodnight, Goodnight’ sounded quite ordinary as a single, certainly no 'Bandages', but it is catchy. The piano on 'You Owe Me An IOU' is relentlessly hummable. 'Jingle Jangle' is brilliant, a mid tempo tune with a great chorus and a very strong vocal. Even better, the unforgettable 'Middle of Nowhere' is one of the best pop songs of the year. It is sad that a band with a truly great single seems to have abandoned any pretensions of greatness. They will be no one’s favourite band, and the promise of 'Bandages' is totally unfulfilled. But, they have delivered a catchy little guitar pop album, not quite a guilty pleasure - just a pleasure, which will serve this baking summer well.

Track Listing:-
1 Introduction
2 Running out of Time
3 Goodnight Goodnight
4 Ladies and Gentleman
5 You Owe Me an IOU
6 No Jokes - Fact
7 Jingle Jangle
8 Pickin' It Up
9 Island of the Honest Man
10 Middle of Nowhere
11 Dirty Mouth
12 Soldier in a Box
13 Shame on You
14 Elevator

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