Hot Hot Heat

Elevator
(Sire)

According to such dot-com authorities as Pitchfork and Allmusic, Hot Hot Heat's long-awaited new album is a disappointing lump of crap. Maybe everyone's just sick of hearing shitty bands that sound like Hot Hot Heat -- because it's hard to find a single serious fault with Elevator. From the double-knotted chords of "Running Out of Time" to the title track's blatant obeisance to The Bends, it puts just about every recent retro-garage-wave release to shame; dense arrangements and melodies are juxtaposed with doses of wry cleverness and hip-wrenching soul. Unlike its predecessor, Make Up the Breakdown, Elevator knows how to coast on simplicity and grant singer Steve Bays space in which to pant, coo and croon about some of the ugliest beautiful people the pop canon has ever housed. Guitarist Dante DeCaro quit after completing this record, so it remains to be seen if the band will be able to maintain its songwriting momentum. But if and when Hot Hot Heat turns in a trulydisappointing disc, it still won't be able to diminish Elevator's brash, casual genius.

 
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