Hot Mute – S/T (CD)

Hot Mute start out “She’s The Medicine” with a synth line that approaches that of a Journey. In fact, the entirety of the band blend together the aforementioned Journey, Asia, and The Cars into something that screams eighties rock even as the band cuts tracks in this day and age. “She’s The Medicine” has single aspirations, but the band is still a quarter step away from grabbing the brass ring. In much of the same way, “Kiss the Girls” comes out with a vocal style that ties together post-Ziggy Bowie with the plodding riffs of a Beatles.

The stop-start approach of the band here is a little too planned and slow; Hot Mute has another almost hit on their hands, but again it is the case that there is just something missing from the track. “Anything is Passion” is a track that actually approaches the current period as the guitar work here is reminiscent of a Radiohead, even as the multiple part vocal harmony during the track is much more close to a Queen than anything else. The deliberative, tuned-down guitars of this track again leave something to be desire. Hot Mute is a band that has a tremendous amount of talent but just needs to find the changes that they can to make things properly click. “Walk With Me” is a track that startsd off with tremendous promise, as the very active synth line that opens up the track flitters throughout the full song. The vocals get into a Foreigner groove of things, and it seems as if Hot Mute has a simplistic but hard-hitting track on their hands. Where the slower tempo has hindered them in the past, it actually seems to work in Hot Mute’s favor during this song.

The slightly smirky tone of the vocals during this track will bring listeners’ minds back to the days of Warrant Zevon, as well. The fact that Hot Mute can go and create so many decent tracks on this album is testament to their ability as a band. While all the tracks cannot be a single here, they all approach a certain level of talent that cannot be denied. I’d like to hear the band on their next album, especially when they have a cold-hearted editor that could lop off three or four tracks and really make their follow-up into a contender. With that, I have little doubt that the band can be a success.

Top Tracks: Sudden Death, She’s The Medicine

Rating: 5.7/10

Hot Mute – S/T / 2006 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.hotmute.com / Reviewed 02 October 2006

[JMcQ]

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