Quasi – Hot Shit (CD)

I believe that I was in one of the best positions to review this disc, as I had never even heard of Quasi before I was sent this disc. The CD starts off with “Hot Shit”, bubbling with oddly-constructed guitar lines and the double-harmony of Janet and Sam .Short in duration, it proceeds as a bizarro-opening to the disc : the continual “Goodbyes” framed in a hopeful voice causes confusion to the listener. “Seven Years Gone“ seems as if Janet and Sam are rock-rappers, as they practically dump on a Beatles track, throwing Sam’s vocals over a classic track and a session drummer. Rapidly spiraling out of anyone’s control, Track two modifies itself into something more chaotic, more brilliant than the sum of its parts. In continuing with the rap analogy, Quasi goes flipmode for “Good Time Rock n Roll”, straight-forward rocking to open up the track, changing to a “Hotel Yorba”-tempoed and vibed track with anemic guitars, and then vacillating between the two styles.

lants and Fiona Apple. Piano in odd time signatures and a whole lot of randomness drive the song to its all-too-short climax. While some of the songs many sound outwardly similar, each track is completely different in feel and style from each other. “Mama Tried” is just a hollow shell of what Quasi is and what they are : the track is bland, drawing from many of the same elements that make the rest of Hot Shit so good. Each layer of the recording, each guitar riff and drum beat, seems tacked on without any rhyme or reason: the best parts of the rest of this disc, even if they are smashed together, does not always make for an impressive (and radio-friendly) song. Moving for the weak spot that is “Mama Tried”, “No One” is more of a composition that an track. A lush soundscape greets the listener, and the dreamy vocals only add to the ominous feeling that the track has.

What absolutely makes Hot Shit for me is “White Devil’s Dream”, a track that begins innocuously enough with a harmonica and moves into an electronic “Fuck You” against the current leaders of the free world. The diva-esque opening to “Good Times”, almost a re-mix of the American National anthem, leads into a percussive beat not unlike that of Pink Floyd’s money. Utterly driving, the beat morphs into a heavily-distorted drum/synth beat while seventies styled lyrics make this a standout track on a disc full of amazing songs. Even more solid than a John Wilkes Booze Explosion track, this homage to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s style of Southern rock provides one of the best tracks of 2003.

Top Tracks : White Devil’s Dream, Good Times, Lullaby Pt. 2

Quasi – Hot Shit / 11 Tracks / 2003 Touch and Go Records / http://www.tgrec.com / Reviewed 28 July 2003 / Released 09 September 2003

“Drunken Tears” sounds like a mix of The Transp

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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