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The Hot Melts - The Hot Melts

The Hot Melts, The Hot Melts

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Hot Melts have created a debut album that’s loud, carefree, derivative of their influences… but crucially immense fun to listen to.

Having become the first British band to sign a worldwide deal with Epitaph Records’ UK based imprint Wonderland Records, they decamped to Chicago and cut their debut with the help of Marc McClusky (Farewell, Hit The Lights). The result is explosively energetic.

The majority of songs have the habit of blasting their way out of the stereo amid a wave of catchy, meaty guitar riffs and powerhouse vocals.

Take Red Lips, the hulking, vengeful behemoth of a former single that also provides the starting point for the album. Based around monstrous, swooning, grungesque guitars and an unsettling but memorable chorus, it’s a killer statement of intent that’s really kind of fun.

What’s more, it belies the band’s Wirral background, casting its gaze much further afield to the likes of Weezer and Eddie Cochran – two of frontman and songwriter Will Bayliss’ self-confessed influences.

The Weezer influence is particularly evident on crowd-pleasing romps such as Big Baby, which also has a distinctly Fountains of Wayne kind of [radiation] vibe, and on the “ba ba”-laden Fun – two of the album’s absolute highlights!

But there’s plenty more to enjoy besides thanks, in no small part, to the unbridled enthusiasm and energy that The Hot Melts bring to their songs.

24, for instance, strips back the heaviness in favour of cute melodies, a chugging central guitar riff and a more retro haze reminiscent of Cochran. It’s another of the album’s rock-pop gems, complete with pleasing tempo change about midway through.

Counter that, meanwhile, with the frenzied energy of the break-up anthem (I Wish I Had) Never Been In Love… the type of track that’s tailor-made for the soundtrack of a film such as (500) Days of Summer! It’s giddy, steeped in pain, but enables you to get high on its super-charged approach.

Nana, on the other hand, showcases the more sensitive side of the band… a heartbreaking lament about a mother sitting by her Nana’s bedside during her final days. It’s evidence of Bayliss’ masterful songwriting and yet another track to underline the diversity that’s rife on The Hot Melts.

Not that The Hot Melts opt for too much soul-searching. The emphasis is on big, brash and fun… no matter how downbeat some of the accompanying lyrics.

Happiness Is A Weakness picks up the tempo and offers a rollicking good guitar-led anthem, Archie tears up a pleasing storm, and Shrink is a clever, amusing head shredder of a record, complete with swoonsome “woo hoo”-ing a la Beach Boys.

The Weezer element returns for another late highlight, Depressed? Oh Yes – the chirpiest song you’re likely to hear about depression in a long time (almost as if The Hot Melts are flipping the bird to Radiohead), while album closer God Will Drive My Hearse ends things in emphatically pleasing, neatly contemplative fashion.

In short, The Hot Melts have delivered a mini-masterpiece with their debut album that offers bucket-loads of fun. You should give it a spin at the earliest opportunity.

Download picks: Red Lips, Fun, Big Baby, 24, Nana, Depressed? Oh Yes, God Will Drive My Hearse, Shrink

Track listing:

  1. Red Lips
  2. Edith
  3. Big baby
  4. My Sweetness Is Making Me Ill
  5. Fun
  6. 24
  7. (I Wish I Had) Never Been In Love
  8. Nana
  9. Happiness Is A Weakness
  10. Archie
  11. Shrink
  12. Depressed? Oh Yes
  13. God Will Drive My Hearse

  1. Thank you kindly, what a lovely review x

    The Hot Melts    Sep 15    #