Hot Nun: Hot Nun
Hot Nun sounds more like a very specific type of fetish porn than it does a rock band. But if a band chose the name Hot Nun for themselves, I would not imagine them sounding like what the San Francisco trio sounds like. Instead of being a sexy but blasphemous group as their name suggests, Hot Nun is actually power pop with a hard rock edge. On their self-titled debut, Hot Nun line up nine songs with no real cohesive message or flow. While I can find few faults in the album, it is still not very good.
Give Hot Nun credit, they have a definitive sound: big crunchy guitars riffs, pop punk vocals, catchy choruses, and killer guitar solos. Opening track “Brave New World” makes the band sound like someone would could have toured with any number of Fat Wreck Chords bands, most notably Chixdiggit. Conversely on the second track “Spirit of 76,” the band shows influences of Superdrag or even earlier bands like Cheap Trick. Both of these tracks are bordering on good. When Hot Nun gets in trouble is when they stray from their formula. “Who Do You Love” is the band’s meager attempt at psychobilly. The track sounds somewhere between the Stray Cats and the Minutemen but not nearly as good as either.
The real stinker of the album though is the band’s cover of David Bowie‘s “Queen Bitch.” Instead of keeping their signature style, Hot Nun does a straight cover of the Bowie classic. Lead singer, Jeff Shelton drops his pop punk vocals, adopts a British accent, and goes all in on a Bowie impression. Needless to say, it is quite painful to listen to.
Overall, Hot Nun sound like a good local band. The kind of band you see at a dive bar, maybe occasionally opening for a national act at the local rock club but being good at that venue does not necessarily transcend into being good nationally or internationally. They probably could have used another year or two of writing before releasing their debut album.
MP3: Hot Nun “Thank You For That”