Hot Hot Heat
It's funny how things rarely finish like they start. A guitarist becomes a bass player (Paul McCartney), a drummer mutates into a guitarist (Kurt Cobain) and a keyboard player like Steve Hays becomes a lead singer.
Starting as a Punk band, Hot Hot Heat mustered all the rage they could, but coming from low voltage Victoria, B.C., probably the most traditionally British city in North America, it was a losing effort. So Hays, bassist Paul Hawley and drummer Dustin Hawthorne ditched their original singer. Hays took over the vocal duties and Hot Hot Heat added guitarist Dante DeCaro. Along the way, the group developed a friendlier, more fun, sound.
The EP "Knock Knock Knock" hit in April of '02. The following month they entered the studio to record their New Wave revivalist "Make Up The Breakdown" released in October. "Elevator" was their '05 release.
"Make Up The Breakdown" has a goofy, jangling guitar with keyboard underpinning, charm. Opening track "Naked In The City Again" has the great lyric, "she says she got it all… I don't want to be the one to tell her that she don't." Songs ride herky-jerky rhythms sounding like a spunkier Smash Mouth which in turn owes much to Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. While this approach has its appeal, it's Rockers "Get In Or Get Out" and "Save Us S.O.S" that resonate.
On "Elevator" Hot Hot Heat continues to ply their accessible guitar Rock. It's a solid effort ranging from the popish "Goodnight, Goodnight" to a pair of excellent upbeat tunes, "You Owe Me An I.O.U." and "Middle Of Nowhere."