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Hot Hot Heat - Elevator (Cover Artwork)

Hot Hot Heat

Hot Hot Heat: ElevatorElevator (2005)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

Elevator is Hot Hot Heat's first effort in three years, and a period whose length is likely attributed to the fact that writing for the band's major label debut resulted in roughly 30 scrapped songs. The band had begun collaborating on new material during tour support of 2002's Make Up The Breakdown.
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Elevator is Hot Hot Heat's first effort in three years, and a period whose length is likely attributed to the fact that writing for the band's major label debut resulted in roughly 30 scrapped songs. The band had begun collaborating on new material during tour support of 2002's Make Up The Breakdown, and, unhappy with the material, tossed it out, reportedly due to, among other complaints, that despite the "darker, more expansive" nature, they were essentially writing the same record over. So while Elevator certainly has its differences, it's funny that in many ways, it's still deathly similar to its predecessor, at least at the band's foundation. It's a fun, immensely catchy pop record that retains the band's trademark quirk and clever angle on pseudo-sappy relationship outtakes and bizzarre personal narratives.

The major difference this time around is how largely a Strokes influence runs through the record, notably in the guitar tone and occasional vocal inflection. In the former, it sometimes gives off an unnatural twang akin to the majority of Room On Fire. The latter, at times, will have Steve Bays singing in a similar, near-drunken and almost incomprehensible, rambled slur, especially in "Jingle Jangle" or certain moments of "Pickin' It Up" and the bridge of "Island Of The Honest Man." While many may have lazily lumped both into the nü-garage movement at the time of the band's previous effort, any resulting comparisons this time around seem a lot more logistically certified.

After a bunch of muffled, interspersed voices in the disc's intro track, "Running Out Of Time" begins with a baseball announcer-esque fervor; the organs have that definitively sport-like, mid-inning feel. The transition to the verse is slightly artless, but several among the record's transitions are like this - not so much clumsy as they are surprisingly ungraceful. Ironically enough, the two songs with the most awkward transitions from verse to chorus are two of the tracks that stand out; lead single "Goodnight Goodnight" suddenly jumps to jangled guitar chords in its sugary beats from its off-kiltered, subtle organ in the verses, and "Island Of The Honest Man" forgets to build as Bays hastily wails "Welcome to the island of the honest man! Do what you want - there is no need to impress us" following the dance pop-driven shake of its verses.

Up until track 7, the record seems to fly by. By the time a listener will have glanced down to check the status, half of it has released itself through the speakers. However, at this point it slows down a bit, balancing out Elevator. The dragging tempos prove the former half offer the best material as this type of pace is unusual for the band, but nod-worthy tracks like the record's comparative ballad, "Middle Of Nowhere," and "Dirty Mouth" with its acoustically-driven introduction are served up modestly, as well as the throwback cynicism of the closing title track.

While fairly disappointing for the fans who fell for Hot Hot Heat's vividly consistent approach to perfectly produced synth-pop hooks and Cure-inspired moodiness, Elevator is hardly compromising and a more than decent effort for the abovementioned reasons. True, the band has likely already hit their musical peak, but thankfully, it'll apparently be a gradual way down via the conveyor belt.

STREAM
Goodnight, Goodnight
Island Of The Honest Man

 

 
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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.
neffernin (June 6, 2007)

Not a very far leap from their first album, which I don't find to be a bad thing. I enjoy this just as much as Make Up the Break Down.

Anonymous (October 16, 2005)

Head Automatica does it better.

Anonymous (June 19, 2005)

This is a great album, with very interesting lyrics, and a weird, but good sound to them. to everyone who hates this album, i think it just takes a few plays through to get to understand the songs, and appreciate the obviously not mainstream music and lyrics. each time i listen to this album i like it more, and i encourage anyone to buy this album

Anonymous (June 2, 2005)

All i have to say to this band before they go down the drain is:
"Goodnight, goodnight,
You're Embarassing me, you're embarassing you"

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

"i hate this band more than words can say. this is the epitome of trend-jumping, hipster bullshit."

Says the 14 year old with black eyeliner & girls jeans on.

SkolarX (May 9, 2005)

"I don't like this type of music much, but HHH must be really pissed at how big The Killers and the rest of this synth-dance-punk mob have become."

imagine how gang of 4 must feel about now, seeing as how all of these bands are ripping off the sound they created 25 years ago

notfeelingcreative (May 8, 2005)

Wait, no Chuck the Rev would be Hot Water Heater.

notfeelingcreative (May 8, 2005)

Wait this isn't a the Revernd Horton Heat and Chuck Ragan's new project?

sethcohen (May 8, 2005)

It's funny when people who try to be the epitome of punk make fun of something by accusing it of trying to be the epitome of hipster music. The only difference is hipster's dress better and don't think it's cool to take of their shirt and fist-fight like a bunch of lacrosse players.

Anonymous (May 8, 2005)

Last comment = SOUR GRAPES

toogoodformtv1012 (May 8, 2005)

goodnight goodnight makes me wanna drop dead
this band is way to prep for a kick ass record
this band is the farthest thing away from punk
andrew sucks monkey nuts,
too good for mtv

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

Woooo O_o lol ok "bandages" (make up the breakdown) was FUCKING catchy. also to the person that said New Metal and Screamo Emo were lamer than this shit. really i enjoy most types of punk ( i cant stand Pop punk though...brrrrr) but i can tell u one thing. Dont try to bash on other genres when ur fav. band is gettin bashed, its not worth it, it all goes to show that u have No ground or proof that this band kicks more ass than anything else. Ppl were comparing this to GO4 and other of their genre, u didnt have to switch genres to defend it...or did you?

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

First off, Brian that is a very lucid and thought provoking as well as accurate review that you have written. I must say that I have heard Goodnight a handful of times and it already makes me spin the dial in search of anything else. Island of the Honest man is much better, but that is the problem with this band. The last album, Breakdown for meltdowns or whatever had a few good songs surrounded by utter crap. Not just songs that you didn't particularly care for, but songs that made you want to wretch. Until they can make all of theirs songs even listenable they will still be behind all the other pop-synth-dance-rock groups.

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

I don't like this type of music much, but HHH must be really pissed at how big The Killers and the rest of this synth-dance-punk mob have become. That having been said, "Goodnight Goodnight" is catchy as fuck.

Joe

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

The new QOTSA is amazing.
New Beck is pretty damn good.
..and the new NIN record is very catchy, which actually makes it a good record, despite the lack of heavier material; distorted noise is kept to a minimum.

-Not-to-Regret

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

that IOU song is pretty rad

ubershep (May 7, 2005)

People complain about them ripping off Gang of Four because that's the only band they know about and it makes them sound cool. XTC is a far, far bigger influence. In fact, there's no GO4 in the music at all.

Sally_Field (May 6, 2005)

Looks like they spent more time on their album cover than they did on the music. Blow me up Tom!

sara(no h)

WAIT! So you're saying that the simplistic artwork isn't near as bad as the CD?

Whoa.

LOL!

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

I listened to Makeup the breakdown and loved it.. i listened to elevator and loved it too. pretty different , but still hot hot heat

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

Looks like they spent more time on their album cover than they did on the music. Blow me up Tom!

sara(no h)

NoUse4aScnName00 (May 6, 2005)

I like this band. I like the Bloc Party too. Call it trendy but it is good. I don't understand how people can write such lame duck comments when there were so much worse trends in the last decade (nu-metal, emo screamo anyone?).....I much rather hear these guys than hear some bland, fallacious, sterotypical lyrics from really bad songs hearing about how their life was sooo bad. Go listen to Papa Roach or your Static Lullaby jerkoffs.

wrongstring (May 6, 2005)

fuck this lame band. someone tell them that they suck. their last album sucked and their new one is just as stick-a-screwdriver-in-you-ear annoying. people will continue to eat this shit as long as it has a bad haircut, vintage guitar and a penchant for mimicry.

swingline (May 6, 2005)

if carrot top formed a band, it would rival this.

yellowtrash (May 6, 2005)

Yes, please no more Gang of Four references. There are other post punk bands you could be using instead. Also, this band borrows much lyrical and pop sensibilities from XTC than the previously mentioned bands.

SoupIsGoodFood (May 6, 2005)

This album is balls compared to Make Up THe Breakdown. Balls, I say.

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

brian seems like a cool guy.

_Sexy_Pants_ (May 6, 2005)

I wish the ripping off gang of four comments would stop. Nobody says that punk rock is ripping off the Stooges (or whoever would be fitting)

And yeah, this album is boring and doesn't sound like Hot Hot Heat anymore

ElVaquero (May 6, 2005)

nope.

SkolarX (May 6, 2005)

yet another band who became rockstars by ripping off gang of 4's sound. i don't get it

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

i like it. and the new songs are really good live. ya , it's not as good, but they were going for something different. i think this band will be around for a while.

MarkieStabone (May 6, 2005)

this album here: it's not so good.

Inspection12e (May 6, 2005)

This score is for Josiah.

Oh and the cd's not so bad either.

Sally_Field (May 6, 2005)

actually they were doing this shit before it was "cool". a fun listen, nothing else, but damn those are good.

Bingo!

sickboi (May 6, 2005)

More like -

"Wack Wack Hipster Bullshit"

I really despise all of these new-wave dance bands. Total garbage.

Fuck Hot Hot Heat, Fuck the Rapture, Fuck the Killers....

unconcerned (May 6, 2005)

I have seen these guys 3 times now... The first 2 times were 2-3 years ago and they had energy and were fun.... They looked like they wanted to be on the stage and while I was in the crowd I could feel that...

I saw them a month or so ago and they just stood there and bored me... The singer bounced around a bit but it just felt like he would have wanted to be back stage with the drugs rather than on stage with the crowd...

Their new album to me just seems like they exhausted their studio budget so finally had to just shove out some of the shit they had recorded.... Sure it is catchy but if you put this one next to "make up the breakdown' you will be seriously let down... The hooks aren't as good, the songs are just poorly executed, and overall the record is a bit of a turd...

I would give it a C

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

I disagree with popular opinion on this one. I think this is a great album.

CellarDoor (May 6, 2005)

Yeah, I guess the album didn't turn out to be what people were expecting... I kinda enjoyed it nonetheless, their music just put me in the mooooooooood for some sweet sweet love.

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

I totally agree with the guy below me. What a fucking disappointment.

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

They fucking pussed out and made a safe record, hoping to sell more records on a major. Instead, they just ended up even more boring and derivative than before.

Have fun boys, your careers are over when this doesn't go gold.

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

this has nada to do with hot heaters, or whatevers, but why does this site actually post news from punk roooock. do people actually listen to bands like us bombs and the union label group? if so, those bitches outta get away from that shit before they shoot up too much and fucking die. RUN FOR THE HILLS!

SERIOUSLY FUCK THAT SHIT SERIOUSLY NOW FUCK

oh yeah, fuck ben folds too

Josiah (May 6, 2005)

i really like "You Owe Me An IOU"...

adam (May 6, 2005)

This is a grower. It frustratingly lacks the frenzy and energy of Breakdown but the songwriting's as catchy as one could hope for.

Hot Hot Heat's always been a little more realistically rock-oriented than their "dance rock" peers anyways. They really have more in common with some of the Cure's more upbeat moments then they have with the bands riffing on PiL and Gang Of Four.

-adam

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

I'd say this band more or less kicked off the trend about 4 or 5 years ago. Then they became one of those bands that the trendy hipsters liked to name drop, which sucked, but they were still good. But with this album they kinda blahed out. They might have another good album or two in them somewhere, but since this dance-punk shite is all the craze these days, when those ablums hit, will anyone still care?

sweetsugarpezz (May 6, 2005)

actually they were doing this shit before it was "cool". a fun listen, nothing else, but damn those are good.

mattp330 (May 6, 2005)

"i hate this band more than words can say. this is the epitome of trend-jumping, hipster bullshit."

tough

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

Agreed with dude / chick below me.

This album is hot, hot shit.
Smelly shit.

Anonymous (May 6, 2005)

i hate this band more than words can say. this is the epitome of trend-jumping, hipster bullshit.

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