Hot Rod Circuit - The Underground Is a Dying Breed (Cover Artwork)

Hot Rod Circuit

Hot Rod Circuit: The Underground Is a Dying BreedThe Underground Is a Dying Breed (2007)
Immortal Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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Hot Rod Circuit have been the perpetual underdogs of the underground for, oh, a decade now, and while they may believe it's a dying breed, they've certainly championed the likes of it for a good amount of time now. Part of it may be due to the inconsistencies that plagued their last album, 2004's Re.

Hot Rod Circuit have been the perpetual underdogs of the underground for, oh, a decade now, and while they may believe it's a dying breed, they've certainly championed the likes of it for a good amount of time now. Part of it may be due to the inconsistencies that plagued their last album, 2004's Reality's Coming Through, but with The Underground Is a Dying Breed those problems seem to have been patched up a bit, even if it isn't likely to supercede the fan favorites of the band's discography circa 1998-2002.

The band's fifth full-length finds them exploring the same subtle twang that found birth on Reality, and while it's never overpowering it's easy to see why they'll soon be heading out with Limbeck to support the record. Every other track or so carries a down-home feel that harkens back to the band's sweet home Alabama roots and less the cross-bred emo rock of Long Island and the Midwest Hot Rod found so much songwriting success in on past work.

"Stateside" feels more like a Track 2 rather than an opener, if that means anything to you, but that doesn't prevent it from being one of Underground's strongest tracks, hands down. Casey Prestwood lays down plenty of said twang here while the band rears back for a bold, wonderfully executed chorus. Not many of Underground's songs mark such impressive territory, but Hot Rod certainly tries. "Vampire" surprisingly features a string section that's integrated seemlessly; "U.S. Royalty" sports supremely country guitar licks and another compelling chorus with a pleasing (no, seriously) cameo from the Starting Line's Kenny Vasoli; "Spit You Out" is comparatively aggressive and consequently refreshing; "Cali"'s chorus is great, but when Andy Jackson tries this snarling type of vocal ¡ la Say Anything's Max Bemis it's just sort of cringeworthy.

The Underground Is a Dying Breed is undoubtedly an improvement for Hot Rod Circuit, but five full-lengths in it's tough to say if the band will ever record a Something to Write Home About, Through Being Cool or We Are the Only Friends We Have like their peers did eight or five years ago (though some will argue HRC already have). The band deserve major props for refraining from attempts to rewrite "Irish Car Bomb" or Sorry About Tomorrow, so if they're still in the game come the next record I'll likely be in the stands welcoming them.

Stream 4 songs on the band's Punknews.org Profile


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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.
insinceredave (May 24, 2007)

I've listened to it quite a bit and I like it. I would says its their best 'all rounder'

SydBarrett420 (April 15, 2007)

This album grows on me more with each listen, but at first I wasn't too impressed.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

I like this band a lot but I have to agree with the reviewer and some of the comments below. This band has some really great stuff but everything else is mediocre or worse. None of their albums seem very cohesive, which has always bothered me. And once again, the record sounds horrible. They are 10x better than they are in the studio, once again. But I will probably download this or pick it up at a show

kamikazepilot42 (March 29, 2007)

I got this based on my excitement over the songs that were streaming on this site. Overall, the album disappoints, based on my previously stated excitement. However, it is growing on me. There are a few really good songs on this album (most of which were streamed here), and the rest is mildly disappointing. In the end, I think I'll end up somewhat enjoying this album, but it won't live up to what I wanted this album to be.

Anonymous (March 29, 2007)

Wanted to like it. This band just keeps disappointing. Realitys Coming Through was even better than this one. The first 3 tracks rule though.

Allular (March 29, 2007)

Say what you will but I've been playing "45's" from the Punknews.org profile over and over. I'll probably buy this at the Limbeck/Hot Rod/Forecast show.

Big_Guy (March 27, 2007)

this is at least a 4

GlassPipeMurder (March 27, 2007)

damn that sucks about Jon not playing the DTR tour, but at least it's just for this tour and not a permanent split.

Anonymous (March 27, 2007)

I thought these guys split, like, two years back.

Anonymous (March 27, 2007)

there's always been something about these guys that rubs me the wrong way. yea they have some awesome songs (flight 81, irish car bomb, cool for one night, the pharmacist) but they've always had some real cringeworthy shit, lyrically on their albums and andy's voice is really fucking emoey and whiney at times. and that last album sucked other than 'inhabit' which wasn't even that great compared to their old shit. i doubt i'll check this out...


baseball (March 27, 2007)

haven't heard the whole album yet, but "Stateside" is a great song

thehandshakepact (March 27, 2007)

Really nice interview.

Anonymous (March 27, 2007)

looks like youll only be hearing Chad's songs at the drag the river show


jacktheskipper (March 27, 2007)

This record gets better with every listen, give it some time and I`m sure a lot of people will liek it ... I loved every single one of their records and I don`t really see why people think there was something wrong with the last one, there were some solid rockers on it ...

GlassPipeMurder (March 27, 2007)

seeing these guys with Limbeck in 2 weeks. never heard them so i don't really know what to expect.

but a week later i'm seeing Drag the River at the same spot. woo!

Anonymous (March 27, 2007)

Worst opening sentence of any piece of English prose ever.

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