Streetlight Records

Artist: Hot Hot Heat
Format: CD
New: Available In Store Used: Available In Store

Formats and Editions


Chalk it up to disastrous timing, a premature major label leap, or the awkward reality that a mess of less creative, less realized bands have already lapped up all the dance-punk attention, but since the release of their Sub Pop debut, 2002's Make Up the Breakdown, Hot Hot Heat have transitioned from genre frontrunners to genre janitors, trudging around behind Franz Ferdinand, trying desperately to reclaim the sound they helped institutionalize.

Despite all that lost momentum, Elevator, the band's sophomore record and first without departed guitarist Dante DeCaro, is an impressively focused and technically compelling (if a year late) follow-up, all doubled choruses and morphing bass lines, braying vocals and twitchy guitars. Cutting back on the scattered deviations (and blippy keyboards) of Make Up, Elevator is taut and catchy-the first single, "Goodnight, Goodnight," features loads of pert guitar and bouncing drums, anchored by vocalist Steve Bays' elastic pipes. The excellent "Ladies and Gentlemen" begs for dancefloor improvisation, all shoulder pops and knee bends, rubbery and full of punk indignation. Even "Jingle Jangle," despite being packed with premature world-weariness ("Another day/ Another night/ Another year/ Another smile/ Another lie/ Another tear") is oddly beguiling. Hot Hot Heat may have napped for a bit too long, but Elevator just might be enough to wake everyone up again.

back to top