Hot Hot Heat: Future Breeds

Hot Hot Heat: Future Breeds
Hot Hot Heat sprinted out of the starting gate. Their debut single “Bandages” reached the top 25 in both the US and the UK. The strength of the single vaulted their debut album, Make Up the Breakdown to The Billboard 200. Their second album, Elevator cracked the top 40 of the Billboard 200 based on the strength of the single “Goodnight Goodnight”. However, their third album 2007’s Happiness Ltd. failed to chart. Coming off that disappointing showing, the band releases their fourth album, Future Breeds. Half a decade since their last chart appearance, the band tries to regain their form.
The band’s success seems to hinge on the strength of their albums’ lead singles, so it seems fair to look at “21@12”. The track is immediately not what one expects to hear from Hot Hot Heat. The track features Beatles-esque acoustic guitars with snaky electric guitars over them. The chorus is not hook-laden or immediately catchy and the track does not feature any of the manic energy that Hot Hot Heat’s previous “hits” have exhibited. The track makes for quite weak single.
There are a couple other tracks on the album that could have made better singles in my mind. “Implosionatic” is the song that most stood out to me during the first listen through of the album. The track has the manic energy of XTC with an immediately catchy, albeit slightly obnoxious, chorus.
But for the most part, Future Breeds is not steeped in single-worthy tracks. The fact is the album is an experimental album for a traditionally poppy band. “Zero Results” sounds like an Interpol track with an Ornette Coleman style free jazz breakdown. The track is solid but does not exactly scream “play me on the radio”.
Despite the not-radio-friendly sound of Future Breeds, I think the album does fairly well for itself. It is still poppy but puts interesting, experimental twists on songs to keep the listener interested. Some songs get a little too experimental and seem to lose focus of the overall album’s goal to be listenable, but those songs make up under half of the album’s tracks. While Future Breeds may not go down as Hot Hot Heat’s most successful album, it is a new and interesting twist to their catalog.
Rating: 6.2/10
MP3: Hot Hot Heat “Implosionatic”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!