It’s an exciting and upbeat album that Montreal-based (but formed in Victoria in 1999) band Hot Hot Heat has delivered with this eponymous record, released just in time for summer. Each song has its own spice, with catchy refrains (the excellent Bobby Joan Sex Tape), and beats that will have you moving.

Steve Bays is a great pop singer. He has a lot of character in his voice (the slower Magnitude) and he really owns the songs. It’s not a matter of dominating the other members – and that is not the case. It’s more a question of really investing a lot of musicality in each sentence sung. Guys like David Byrne, Simon LeBon or Ric Ocasek are masters at this art. Pop singers that care about how each word sounds. It makes a difference in this type of upbeat catchy music. Bays figured that out and, without ever sounding as cheesy as Duran Duran, delivers great hooks all through this album.


Not a boring moment on Hot Hot Heat’s 5th album, which is pretty extraordinary in the rock-pop world. Songs like Kid Who Stays in the Picture are the kind of pop songs that make it fun to listen to. Uncomplicated, but never cheap.

Many songs are barely 2 or 3 minutes-long so don’t expect concepts à la Radiohead in here. Hot Hot Heat makes the kind of music that will bring fun between your ears. And we all need that at one point of the day! The last singles the band released, Pulling Levers and Magnitude feature exclusively singer Steve Bays.

Unfortunately, “Hot Hot Heat” will be the final album of the band, who decided to call it quits, after a career that spanned for 15 years and saw them play hundreds of concerts. On their Facebook page, the singer, and co-founder of the band attested that: “To be able to tour from 1999 to 2014 and play hundreds of shows a year was amazing,” Steve says. “It changed all of our lives. It was the greatest experience I could ever imagine. I can relate to our fans and I respect our fans. They are the kind of people I’d hang out with. I’m proud of every single record, and of finding the ground between making it challenging and fresh, but also not being afraid to be entertaining and put on a crazy show. Every show we ever did was just a total high energy spectacle and that’s a great legacy to have.”


Hot Hot Heat
(Kaw-Liga Records/Culvert, 2016)

-Genre: rock pop
-In the same style as Islands, Hot Chip, Ok Go

Buy the album on the band’s Google Play page
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel


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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.