Hot Hot Heat: New music, old memories

I remember being fully introduced to Hot Hot Heat. I was a sophomore in college, I had heard the song “Bandages” from their debut album Make Up The Breakdown, and was quite curious if the band could A. Sustain that danceable indie-glam energy for an entire album and B. Live up to the potential in that single. Thanks to a friend of mine named Abby who lived a floor above me, I was hooked up with that debut album, and both questions were answered: Yes.

And then I fell in love with HHH’s sophomore effort, Elevator. It was the band’s breakthrough into more mainstream territory, but it merely refined their scatterbrained sound and made it somewhat more palatable for the masses. I didn’t think they lost any of their essence, and that album had hooks and sing-along songs from start to finish. It was a textbook major-label debut (Warner). In other words, I bet it split diehard fans down the middle. Some loved the slightly tweaked sound, some hated it.

Then came 2007’s Happiness LTD, which sounded somewhat like a quirky band trying to kill some of their quirks, and not really for the better. That album was somewhat bland compared to the previous two records, though it did yield some songs that I still love now. Namely, “Let Me In” and “My Best Fiend.” But it didn’t meet with much critical or fanboy acclaim, far as I can remember.

It has been three years, and I had heard nary a peep from Hot Hot Heat. Enter the news I stumbled upon last week: The band, sans major-label and now a part of Dangerbird Records’ roster, is emerging with a new album. I cannot adequately express how much I’m anticipating hearing what a fresh start does for lead singer Steve Bays and company. From what I’ve heard of the new album, entitled Future Breeds, it sounds like a glorious return to the band’s more stylistically erratic days. I’m on board, win or lose. Cause I’ve loved these guys from the start.

Which is why I’m quite excited to give you a taste of that new stuff from this Canadian quartet.

By the way, here’s a wonderful LA Weekly piece about the band’s revival.

Zero Results” By Hot Hot Heat (From Future Breeds, due out June 8 on Dangerbird Records)

“Times A Thousand” By Hot Hot Heat (From Future Breeds, due out June 8 on Dangerbird Records)

Future Breeds” By Hot Hot Heat (From Future Breeds, due out June 8 on Dangerbird Records)

–Sean

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