Hot Rod Circuit - Sorry About Tomorrow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hot Rod Circuit

Sorry About Tomorrow (2002)


Hot Rod Circuit. I booked these guys a show 3 years ago in Belvidere, IL when they toured with the Jazz June. Virtually no one came [which is typical of the Rockford-area scene], but the show was one of my most favorite that I had ever booked. I was excited to see HRC live, as their booking agent had sent me a dubbed tape of their first EP and I loved it. I told all my friends that this band would be huge someday. So after Last Summer [the best band to have ever been on Drive Thru Records] played and wowed me [and about the 6 other people in the room], HRC set up and proceeded to rock it like there was no tomorrow. The Jazz June paled in comparision. I wish I would have kept in contact with the HRC boys because I really liked them, but I figured I would realistically never hear from them again, even though they had that "sound of tomorrow."

It's 3 years later and Hot Rod Circuit is big. they're not *huge,* but they're on their way. In that three year span, the band put out 2 full length albums on Triple Crown Records, gaining a good-sized fanbase with each one. After nonstop touring with pretty much everyone, Vagrant Records took notice, signed them, and threw them onto the Vagrant America tour, gaining them almost instant popularity. Nowadays the Jazz June would kill to open for them, I think. I'm happy for these guys, but I just wish this album lived up to their potential.

Don't get me entirely wrong: it's a good album. "Radiation Suit" is about as classic as HRC can get, and "Consumed By Laziness" shows that the band can slow down the tempo without losing some of their nearly-patented punk-meets-emo-and-they-get-into-a-drunken-brawl sound. The music is solid and well recorded, and the lyrics are still fairly good [they've never really been a strong point in the band], but it seems like the energy is lacking throughout the whole album. Not many songs do much to jump out at you - Andy's voice sounds *way* too polished for this type of music [especially in the "Pharmacist" - what is this, a New Found Glory b-side?], and Casey, while being a crazy motherfucker of a guitarist, sounds like he's using the same eccentric riffs over and over again. The album falls into the category of glorified background music - sure, it's good, and when you pay attention to it, you enjoy it, but that's just the thing - when you *don't* pay attention to it, you tend to enjoy it even more. It takes no effort to swallow this album. The big question is, will it leave a bad taste afterwards? I'm still not sure. While I'm deciding, I'll put their first EP back in and listen to HRC rock out like I know they could back in the day.

Radiation Suit