A pure snapshot of unashamed youthful buzz.
Label: Kaw-Liga Records
Released: June 24th 2016
Remember those times where we all pogoed along at student discos sipping on a dangerously blue alcopop cocktail? More than likely, those times were soundtracked by Hot Hot Heat, the Vancouver genre-benders who’s electric indie storm erupted in the early 00s but never seemed to reach the commercial peaks of their British contemporaries. Criminally underrated, they’ve returned after a six year gap with the self-titled ‘final’ album, calling a day on classic indie-pop revelry with their most infectious and relevant release since their defining early days.
‘Hot Hot Heat’ is an immediate and defiant listen, fully embracing that golden guitar pop sound with a distinctly submerged synth spine. Lead single ‘Kid Who Stays In The Picture’ is invigorating melodic royalty whilst ‘Modern Mind’ and ‘Comeback Of The Century’ hark back to the neon soaked days of potent pop perfection with the former bristling with the digital swoon of a long lost Buggles single.
What’s particularly noticeable is how refreshed and liberated the entire record sounds, daring to incorporate the synonymous inventive edge that has always made Hot Hot Heat such a recognisable force. ‘Magnitude’ is a slow-burning strut full of confidence and charm, spreading over 5 minutes and given just enough room to breathe with ‘Pulling Levers’ sounding like the perfect soundtrack for a Route 66 getaway. Unpredictability reigns supreme, and it’s in those detours that ‘Hot Hot Heat’ really shines.
Less like a band stepping away from the spotlight, ‘Hot Hot Heat’ is an unrestrained celebration of everything that made these indie-dance groovers so vital. Packed with enough hooks to make Mike Tyson jealous, it’s a pure snapshot of unashamed youthful buzz.
There’s been way too many goodbyes this year. But none are as joyous and carefree as Hot Hot Heat’s. Jamie Muir