Hotwire - The Routine
by Keavin Wiggins
- The Routine
First impressions are often wrong. That
was the case with Hotwire for me. A few months back I got a call from a
publicist at RCA asking if I’d be interested in checking out their new
band “Hotwire” when they rolled through town with Crazy Town. After
hearing who they were touring with my interest dropped to zero and to my
mind at the time, fortunately I had another show that night.
Fast forward two weeks and what shows in
the mail? You guessed it, an advance of the CD. I popped it in to see what
I missed and instantly regretted missing the show. Hell, I could have left
after Hotwire blew Crazy Town off the stage.
Judging by the intensity of their CD, I
imagined that they live show would be incredible. I got to find that out
a few weeks back when Hotwire hit the Whiskey with Slaves on Dope. As hard
as it was to fathom, their live show was even more intense than the album.
If this CD didn’t win me over, that performance did!
But we’re here to talk about the CD. The
simple review would be that it’s 80% heavy s*** and 20% melody. They blend
in hard-core with melodic edges and that interplay is really what makes
them compelling. I found myself thinking that they sound like Nirvana with
the intensity doubled. The heavier songs knock you in the gut but are still
catchy as hell. That’s a hard line to walk but Hotwire do it with little
effort. At other times they reminded me of the more exploratory moments
of Finger Eleven, especially at the mellower intervals.
Most of the songs are in your face but
still manage to be melodic and distinct but the band throws in a few mellower
tunes that would fit right into mainstream radio with the songs “Say What
You Want,” “How It Goes” and “Hands On You”. But don’t let those songs
throw you; the rest of the CD is measured intensity ranging from hard-core,
to rampant punk and hard rockers. But they strike the perfect balance
when they end off with a emotional ballad, "In The Unknown".
Hotwire’s ranges of shading from light
to heavy is their strongest songwriting asset and probably why they remind
me of Nirvana (that’s not to say they sound like Nirvana, they don’t).
The album may be called “The Routine” but the music is anything but.
This is an impressive debut and Hotwire should have no problem winning
heavy music fans over with their harder edged songs and more mainstream
fans on with their mellower material. In the end it combines into a well-balanced
album that doesn’t grow boring after a few spins.
But the most remarkable thing is that this
is an album released by a major label that conveys a total indie vibe.
In other words, it's credible and not the usual contrived "heavy" music
we get spoon feed from the majors. It's reassuring to know that at
least one major label is out looking for the good stuff. And I would hazard
a guess that if you look at sales for this CD, you will find a spike in
cities immediately following their appearance on this summer's Ozzfest.
the Official Website to learn more about Hotwire
out the album with this Jukebox
to sound samples and Purchase this album online