Chad Roxxit (drums), Jared Savas (vocals/guitar/keys), Kyle Smith (guitar/keys) and Dan Wade (bass/vocals) are The Hot Takes. The band recently released their debut EP which contains five songs. They mention that they are “drawing on the sounds of anthemic ‘70s punk and neon-drenched ‘80s new wave.” Additionally they point to bands like The Clash, The Killers and Arcade Fire. I was surprised they didn’t mention Talking Heads. The singer sounds a bit like David Byrne or at least has a similar type of enthusiasm and energy in his voice.
The band begins with “Heaven & Hell” and yes the ’80s vibes especially were overt. The song is motivational sounding but not in a corny way that is very saccharine. It feels human, heartfelt and will get you bobbing along with the music.
Perhaps even better is the next song “Outlaws” and I was totally getting Talking Heads feelings on this song between the danceability and slight edge. I love how the band just dives into this sound and doesn't try and update in some kind of 2021 type of way. The vocalist sounds great but in general the band just sounds in the pocket and dynamic.
They continue to crush with “Out of the Shadows” but this time they start off a little more subtle. The rhythm section carries the groove here and lets the guitars add some atmosphere. As the song progresses the song builds but not too much, They sink back into the verse and transition into a meditative breakdown before the explosive end.
The single worthy “Hallelujah Superstar” was where I heard the Arcade Fire influence. In particular it reminded me of the songs I heard on The Suburbs. They close with “Shake It Up” which is celebratory and positive.
I really don’t have much critique wise because this is a strong debut with very well crafted songs. I think the time is right for these types of songs to become popular. At the very least I hope so.
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