No matter your feelings on the mic work, though, you can't help but notice the musical talent at play here, be it in the unusual song structures or the unobtrusive, color-adding use of the organ behind Dante DeCaro's unpredictable chords.
They inject high-strung pop a la Drums and Wires-era XTC with punk-funk dynamics, while flamboyantly strangulated singer Steve Bays croons like Joe Jackson battling hot-sauce hiccups. [Listen 2 This Supplement, 11/2002, p.14]
Like The Dismemberment Plan's Emergency and I, this seems to glide from one high-energy song to another, each one unique and fascinating by itself, echoing the sparse tones of The Police here and there, or INXS's Kick-era attention to beat in other places.
Hot Hot Heat's compelling energy, original hooks and rhythms, and quirky, sometimes indiscernible lyrics combine to make Make Up the Breakdown one of the most energetic and enjoyable listens of the year.
Like their NYC peers Liars and the Rapture, HHH are adept at fusing dancefloor polemics with angular guitar atmospherics, yet their sound lacks the sweat-soaked sexual ardor that those groups flaunt so remorselessly.