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Hot Rod Circuit - Reality's Coming Through (Cover Artwork)

Hot Rod Circuit

Hot Rod Circuit: Reality's Coming ThroughReality's Coming Through (2004)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I have to give Vagrant credit: They're giving away the best song on the new Hot Rod Circuit album for free. "Inhabit," Reality's Coming Through's opening track, is one of the best songs HRC has ever written; an upbeat pop-punk track, containing hyperactive guitar solos and a catchy chorus, plus a gu.
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I have to give Vagrant credit: They're giving away the best song on the new Hot Rod Circuit album for free. "Inhabit," Reality's Coming Through's opening track, is one of the best songs HRC has ever written; an upbeat pop-punk track, containing hyperactive guitar solos and a catchy chorus, plus a guest vocal appearance from Say Anything mastermind Max Bemis.

It's sad when a guest vocal appearance is the highlight of a band's new album, but that's how it is with Reality's Coming Through, Hot Rod's fourth album and unarguably their most boring and derivative. "Save You" is a horrible pseudo-ballad, "Cheap Trick" contains the worst use of "na na na"s put to tape in quite some time, and "Fear The Sound" is an awkward look into frontman Andy Jackson's strained marriage that I wish wouldn't have been written down. And these are just the songs that are memorable. The majority of the 11 tracks do nothing to distinguish themselves from one another, progressively becoming blander as time ticks away.

The disc contains a few highlights, however: The aforementioned "Inhabit" could be stuck on repeat in my CD player for an hour, and I wouldn't complain. Likewise, "Tell The Truth" is a strong rocker, reminiscent of their Triple Crown days. But overall, the album falls flat on its face (thanks in part to the cardboard production of Tim O'Heir. FYI, Tim: this band ain't the All-American Rejects, so don't try to make them sound like 'em).

Hot Rod Circuit has written an album's worth of catchy rock songs in their six-year career, but they've been spread out over four full-lengths (plus a handful of EPs). It's almost an insult to say that Vagrant would be better off putting out a "Greatest Hits"-type compilation of the band's material, but frankly, that's the only good way to get all their good material in one place. Reality's Coming Through is definitely the wrong place to start, if you're looking for original, hard-hitting Hot Rod Circuit music. I can't imagine the band blowing up from this release, as there's nothing on the album that warrants massive attention (again, outside of "Inhabit"). With Andy on his second Safety In Numbers album, and Casey's new band The Only Children having a record coming out in November, I can't imagine Hot Rod staying together much longer with an album this tepid. It's a shame, because this band really had something. Once.

MP3
Inhabit

STREAMING AUDIO
Tell The Truth
Cheap Trick
Save You

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 27, 2006)

Do some of you people just agree with the review just to sound smart?

Anonymous (September 9, 2004)

you don't know what you are talking about. You should never be able to write reviews ever again for anybody. This is the best album of the year. Take my advice, go play in traffic.

joebreaux (September 2, 2004)

This is an awesome album!! Can't stop listening to it!! Also for all you Hot Rod Circuit Fans please vote for there new video

You can vote for "Save You" the video on FUSE now! It will be airing on Fuse's Oven Fresh as well as The Next Big Thing.
Go to www.fuse.tv
Click TV SHOWS then go to The Next Big Thing Awards
If you aren't a registered member you will have to be to vote.
Then Vote for HRC's "Save You" video.
The guys really appreciate all the support they get from you so stop hanging around and go vote already!

MrLuke (August 31, 2004)

I liked two songs on there last album. That's all I have to say.
-MrLuke

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

Maybe I'm just too big an HRC fan, but I thought this ablum rocked.

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

I like the cd as a whole, not bad. But Cheap Trick is a horrible, horrible song.

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

Generic playschool music...

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

i love hrc but that song cheap trick is the worst song i think ive ever heard

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

I was just writing about HRC, noting that the best thing for a fan to do is to scope their entire catalogue and fill 1 CD with their best songs. This album might contribute 2 songs, and that's it.

Score's for "This One's For Randy", which is NOT on this album.

Jerith (August 31, 2004)

wow no BSD comment?

i do like inhabit, dont like the rest of the cd that much.

maverick (August 31, 2004)

I didn't hate HRC from the get go. I don't hate them now, either. I've been a fan of the band since their cassette demo [which later became their first EP] was mailed to me in 1999 when I was setting up a show for them. This album was just an enormous letdown.

-Scott

aubin (August 31, 2004)

"Why review a CD if you hate the band from the get go?"

Believe me, if you hate a band before you start, you don't come up with this kind of vitriol. The harshest reviews I've written are for bands I used to enjoy.

Being disappointed by a band or person you like is usually worse than a band you didn't like anyway.

Anonymous (August 31, 2004)

"Why review a CD if you hate the band from the get go,"

You obviously didn't read the review, Scott said he likes their back catalog, but never thought they were anything amazing. thats not hating them from the get go. I own a few HRC albums, I think this one sucks and I don't think they were ever anything great, but a good poppy listen on occasion. This album is just bland and generic, nothing outright horrible, but nothing memorable. This album makes Further seems Forever or Dashboard confessional sound like the hardest muthafuckas on the block.

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

"has anyone heard northstar live? i'm really looking forward to seeing them. should i be less enthusiastic?"

northstar is pretty good live. they have a lot of energy.

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

so many bands like this...they deserve no recognition....WHY IS MEDIOCRITY AWARDED SO MUCH IN OUR WORLD?

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

i haven't heard anything from this yet. but i'm going to see them with northstar in about 2 months. since this is their new album, i'm sure it will dominate their set, and that is sad if it is as terrible as you say. the worst part is that HRC is the headliner, and thus will have the longest set.
has anyone heard northstar live? i'm really looking forward to seeing them. should i be less enthusiastic?

shraps (August 30, 2004)

If this this Reality for HRC, sucks to be them.

-shraps

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

74-minute CD-Rs?

Fool, it's 2004 80-minutes rules the scene.

Fascist.

- Kirby

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

"You only listed a handful of songs. Odds are, if you took all of your favorite Hot Rod Circuit songs and put them onto a 74-minute CD, there would still be a few minutes left. Seriously, try it.

-Scott"

Scott , this is true, but lay off man.......i'm starting to feel bad for these guys, you've done enough man.....you've done enough....

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

"Hot Rod Circuit has written an album's worth of catchy rock songs in their six-year career, but they've been spread out over four full-lengths (plus a handful of EPs)"

That just about says it all right there. This band is average 75% of the time, but its that 3 or 4 shit-ripping good pop songs/album that keeps me listening to them...

this album is pretty much like their other 3....average, w/ about 3 above average songs that keep yoiu listening. i can't really tell if i like this more or less than their last album...probably less.

trevor keith cowrote 'save you' which i find to be the best song on the album.

inhabit rules.

carabba is somewhere on this cd...

score's for having carabba somewhere on your cd....XOXOXOOX I LOVE CARABBA!!!!!!

Anonymous (August 30, 2004)

inhabit would be a perfect song if that crazy guy from say anything didn't ruin it

Anonymous (August 29, 2004)

scott, i love your reviews usually...but this one makes me want to punch you. although i do believe this is their weakest cd, it still hasn't left my cd player since ive bought it.

Anonymous (August 29, 2004)

This album is HRC's best yet

Modern (August 29, 2004)

Couldn't agree more.

maverick (August 29, 2004)

To the person below me-

You only listed a handful of songs. Odds are, if you took all of your favorite Hot Rod Circuit songs and put them onto a 74-minute CD, there would still be a few minutes left. Seriously, try it.

-Scott

Anonymous (August 29, 2004)

Reality's Coming Through is by far their weakest album, but the criticism this reviewer levels at the band is far off base. An album's worth of good songs over their entire year? Come on... the first album is *full* of great songs: Irish Car Bomb, Good Intentions, Weak Warm, Slacker, all great stuff. The second album is a bit more uneven, I'll grant you that. I was not a big fan of the Vagrantization of HRC that took place starting with Sorry About Tomorrow. It's a pretty good album (At Nature's Mercy, Safety, Cool for One Night, Let's Go Home), but I got the feeling that their sound was slowly becoming not their own. My fears were realized with the new album: while I guess it's a solid rock record, nothing on it really screams "This is HRC" -- the needling guitar parts are gone, as are the soaring dynamic changes. Reviewer is right about the production, as it sounds like a big muddled mess. Overall, an unmemorable album by a great band that doesn't deserve the thrashing you gave it.

Anonymous (August 29, 2004)

Its not that bad......a 3 is harsh. Give it some time...smoke a joint and listen to it and you might end up being into it more. That is what i did and it worked good for me.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

Koufax Rocks

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

you forgot to mention that this band are a bunch of corporate whores

maverick (August 28, 2004)

How on earth is "Cheap Trick" a throwback to any song this band has written prior, except maybe "The Pharmacist?"

-Scott

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

I dissent. And dissent is totally American as I've been told.

This is a good album for HRC. "Inhabit" rules as one of the poppiest tracks on the record. But after that, HRC takes a much more harder rock sound that on other records.

How can you not like "Fear the Sound?"--it rings in my ears like Velvet Revolver or like "Judith" from A Perfect Circle!

And "Tell the Truth?" It's more brash and as good as "Get What You Get," it's moderately fast and somewhat more angry!

Plus, "Cheap Trick" and "Failure" are good throwbacks to old-school HRC, which the reviewer somehow admires, but yet admonishes here in this record.

Maybe the reviewer's palate got more sophisticated from back from 1999--I don't give a shit either way. But you can't say this isn't a good, if not decent, album effort for HRC.

I'm telling you--give it time and this album will grow on you.

Like Secretary of State Kevin Shelley and that way he does his laundry. Money laundry.

Gray Davis

skanknsmile (August 28, 2004)

that is a disappointment, because i was really looking forward to this album

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

biggest disappointment of the year for me, i loved their past albums, and didnt take sorry about tomorrow out of my cd player for almost 6 months, but this album sucks, all of the songs sound the same, hopefully they will play old stuff at their shows with straylight and northstar

slippy (August 28, 2004)

This band sucks. What can I say. Stop playing generic music.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

I've disagreed with several ot of your recent reviews (the Ghost, Paris, Texas), but you hit the nail on the head here. The one upshot of their inability to put more than a couple good tunes on an album is that when HRC finally breaks up, the 'greatest hits' album might actually be worth owning.

OC

MrLuke (August 28, 2004)

I have one of their albums and it has 2 good songs. 1 good song might not be worth 20 bucks. 2 good songs isn't even worth a crack whore.
-Mr Luke

lostinthecrowd13 (August 28, 2004)

Sorry about tomorrow was a Great pop punk cd. That is why when I heard this cd was coming out I was excited. I then traveled over to Vagrant's site and streamed this cd. I started listening to it and didn't even remember I had it on. Its very boring and isn't what I was expecting. The band said this is the cd they have been wanting to make their whole careers. They said this cd either was gonna be big or they were gonna break up. All I have to say is farewell.

p.s. Inhabit wasn't even that great of a song.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

Scott- i thought HRC was "hella good".
koufax has farted better songs than you could ever comprehend.
i wanna hear your band.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

It tells you how much Vagrant cares about this release when you go to vagrant.com, click on the link for "Hot Rod Circuit media player" on the splash page, and a Senses Fail e-card opens up instead.

Anonymous (August 28, 2004)

i remember seeing these guys open for hwm in 2001 and thinking they were some piece of shit overhyped band that nobody would like in a couple years. guess i was right.

FaintlyFallingAshes (August 27, 2004)

completely agree. one of the biggest disappointments of the year, especially after 3 great full legnths.

boba_fett (August 27, 2004)

wow. scott you are dead on about the the na na nas. it really aint hot. not at all.

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (August 27, 2004)

I at least dig the album cover. Very film noir-ish. Haven't listened to the album enough to give an honest opinion. Or maybe I have, but I just numb it out. I dunno.

pastepunk (August 27, 2004)

How did you not mention "Unfaithful" in this review? I think that song is leaps and bounds above anything else on this release. I would argue that most of the songs on here are pretty good, but none of the band's charm from their last album is present, and that really hurts them...

opivykid (August 27, 2004)

Damn this cd, sadly, sucks. They're still the 3rd best emo band ever.....but.....this is shit.

Anonymous (August 27, 2004)

Everything about this album is half-assed, from the writing, to the production, right down to the layout. I know it's packaging is a stupid squabble, but come on, did Vagrant spend all their money dressing James Dewees up like the characters from the Lord of the Rings and only have 50 bucks left to give the art guy for the HRC album?

fullcollapse88 (August 27, 2004)

i really liked the first three songs, after that...well i really don't remember much.

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