Release Date: October 8, 2002
Reviewed by Sonya Sutherland
What is up with all this flash back type stuff?
The Strokes went 60’s rock, then there is this mainstream surge in “punk” that is a throw back to the 80’s, and every once in awhile a band comes along and figures hey lets even out everything with a little new-wave/retro. Deadsy and Orgy did it successfully, so why cant Hot Hot Heat? Well they can. Plus their visit to previous decades isn’t nearly as obnoxious as Orgy’s overproduced cover of Blue Monday and subsequent singles. On Makeup the Breakdown Hot Hot Heat does like Deadsy. No not making funeral synth-pop but a creating a successful assimilation of old school into the present millennium.
Hot Hot Heat’s singer Steve Bays has a pretty smooth strange voice that sorta is like Robert Smith from the Cure but not as depressed. All the songs have an upbeat 80’s pop structure with the classic keyboard support and have enough variety to not make the album seem like a 60-minute track. The only problem is that the over happy sentiment gets a little old by the last track, but not awful to the point of ejecting the disk.
Its strength is its refreshing divergence from the current state of pop music.