Release Date: 10.08.02
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Bring on the Post-Punk
by: bill aicher
Hot Hot Heat... it's a band that almost sounds like it needs the word "The" added to it's front... especially once you take into account that an untrained ear could easily lump them together with the rest of the "garage rock revivalists." This would be a mistake, of course, as Canada's Hot Hot Heat have more in common with post-punk / early new-wavers XTC, Elvis Costello, and a bit of the later Clash.
In fact, if Make Up the Breakdown not had as glossy of production (rest easy, it's not that glossy) it would fit right in as an overlooked gem of the early 80's post-punk era. So, where comparisons to The Strokes may be tempting, Make Up the Breakdown is more akin to the album The Faint would have made before Blank Wave Arcade if Blank Wave wasn't dipping into retro waters already.
Where Hot Hot Heat truly excels, however, is not in their homages to other bands' past glories, but in their ability to write and enjoyable and witty songs bursting with tightly arranged musicianship, with most songs managing to clock in at under three minutes. There's nary a "bad track," and high points like the twitchy synth-pop of "Bandages" and "Oh, Godamnit" rank up there as some of the best songs released in 2002.
So, if you somehow missed this gem in 2002 like we did, you'd be wise to pick it up next time you're at the shop. Make Up the Breakdown was one of 2002's best albums, the only problem was that hardly anyone heard it. 17-Jun-2002 7:09PM