Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Hot Hot Heat 

Elevator (Sire/Warner Bros)

Hot Hot Heat has bet its cred by making this major-label debut so endlessly catchy. Sure, catchiness has been a calling card of this Victoria, British Columbia quartet since 2002's Knock Knock Knock, a Sub Pop EP that marked the addition of guitarist Dante DeCaro and the abandonment of synth-noise experimentation for straightforward indie rock. But that EP's post-Fugazi concoction of overwrought vocals, shattered funk guitar, and martial drums put the tunes in a catchy, yet edgy context, setting the band in jagged formation with hip contemporaries like the Walkmen.

Not so with Elevator. Though the arrangements are only somewhat softened, they're now largely honed to traditional pop and new wave melodies -- think XTC, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, even Squeeze. It might lead some haters to note that DeCaro left the band after recording was finished. But from the date-dumping snap of "Goodnight Goodnight" ("You're embarrassing me") to the gothy swoon of "Elevator" ("Don't take me up/I'll only find my way back down"), the combination of trad-pop classicism and new-rock mannerism (those mewling vocals!) should win these Canadians at least another season far from the "Middle of Nowhere" that they know so well.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Franklin Soults

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation