Love Down With Hot Chip
posted by December 26 at 15:33 PMon
I’m back. I spent the last 72 hours outside of Seattle, with no cell phone reception and no internet access. There was some kind of holiday. It was all very calming. What I did have was a promo copy of the new Hot Chip record, Made in the Dark (due out Feb 5th on DFA/Astralwerks). Snap 72-hour judgement: it’s great if uneven, and I suspect it’s going to be another grower of a record from the band. Case in point: though I intended to spend a lot of time poring over this new album, every time I loaded up Hot Chip on the old iPod I found myself more and more drawn back to their debut, Coming on Strong, an album that never really took hold for me before now. It’s more mellow, less rhythmic and developed than their later work, but it contains what my be the best three-song run the band’s managed so far (although “Boy From School” into “Colours” into “Over & Over” is pretty awesome).
That run of songs: “You Ride, We Ride, In My Ride” into “Shining Escalade” into “Baby Said.” Damn, that’s a hard block to beat, an ice-solid vanilla mope with just enough electric pulse and sun-break to keep things moving. If there’s a block like that on Made in the Dark it’s probably, as on the Warning, the first three songs after the introductory “Out at the Pictures”: the already-released tracks “Shake a Fist” and “Ready For the Floor,” followed by the sinister gymnastic funk of “Bendable Posable.” The latter two songs are easily as catchy as anything the band have done so far but with even more adventurous programming and song-writing. Here’s hoping the rest of the album catches up.