Hot Hot Heat are currently being big-upped by Radio 1 and Xfm (a fact unbeknown to me when I purchased this album at random yesterday, thinking I was so cool and obscure buying a CD cos I'd picked up 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' mag and basically shut my eyes and stuck a pin (OK, my finger) on a review, with the intention of buying whatever album the pin had landed on).
They are on Sub Pop - cool. They are Canadian - double cool (we'll ignore Nickelback). They appear to be young and cute - triple cool. But coolest of all is that their music is really ace. Not only is it ace, it's difficult to pigeonhole. There are the powerpop elements, but far more quirky and studied than simple power chords, far more dynamic, a real sense of urgency, breezy quirkiness without being wacky, a bit of retro garage and a bit of effortless... well... cool.
For sure, the intro to 'Bandages' sounds like the Inspirals (what's going on there then, eh?). 'Get In Or Get Out' is a less po-faced Jimmy Eat World with a rather stomping chorus and twinkly keyboards, while others drift over with the fun and pop sensibility of They Might Be Giants. A particular highlight is 'Talk To Me, Dance With Me', which is rather funky and a singalong "you're are my only girl but you're not my owner" refrain.
One other thing is for sure, Hot Hot Heat have all the potential to become someone's Favourite Band, and inspire someone to pick up a guitar and start their own racket. And there are fewer higher compliments than that). Fresh, new, exciting, instantly-likeable band alert.
What a way to start 2003.
9Adie Nunn's Score