Release Date: Apr 5, 2005
Record label: Sire
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Two years ago, British Columbia's Hot Hot Heat were all elbows - even their catchiest songs were gawky, fidgety creatures, tumbling along in a mess of manic synthesizer blurts and gulping vocals. But just like many of their new-wave heroes, they've straightened up and laser-targeted the charts with an arsenal of tunes, such as Running on Empty and Goodnight Goodnight, that sound custom-built to colonise radio playlists. If the whizz-bang pace makes Hot Hot Heat sound a bit too eager to please, then Steve Bays' lyrics give even their fizziest pop songs a pleasingly tart kick.
After finishing the follow-up to their breakout album Make Up the Breakdown, Hot Hot Heat lost guitarist Dante DeCaro, but there's something even more crucial missing from Elevator: charismatic songwriting. Make Up the Breakdown was bursting with it; each song took its new wave/post-punk/pop influences in breathlessly twisty, wordy, unexpected directions. That album was also a model of economy, packing a huge amount of ideas and energy into a svelte ten-song track listing.