Monday, June 30

Dead Lake Will Make You Feel Alive

Artist: Hot Club De Paris
Album: Live at Dead Lake

Since the release of Drop It ‘Til It Pops in 2006, listeners across the map have been clamoring for Hot Club De Paris to send some more of that passionate, British pop-punk out into the world. And now, two years later with their most recent release, Live At Dead Lake, Hot Club does not disappoint.

From the “la’s” and “da’s” of opening track, “Call Me Mr. Demolition Ball,” Hot Club present a catchy, 14 song summer soundtrack about being young and in love and all the hang-ups that such behavior entails. With their high energy guitars and bouncing British accents the band radiates the sunny feeling of July, regardless of the weather outside. They kick off the album with a three song frenzy synonymous with the established sound on Hot Club’s first album. “My Little Haunting,” and “I Wasn’t Being Heartless When I Said Your Favorite Song Lacked Heart,” instantly ease a listener’s inhibitions; this is still the Hot Club they know and love.

The middle of the album is composed of an interesting dynamic in which the two strongest songs on the album are alternated between two instrumental tracks. The interludes initially serve as a clever way to build up to the following songs, but after a few spins a listener will impatiently skip ahead to the dance-in-your-car “Hey, Housebrick” and the ever hopeful, “Boy Awaits Return of the Runaway Girl.” “Housbrick” comes with a number of fist-pump inducing shouts and a corresponding music video that emphasizes the lighthearted tone of the album. “Boy Awaits” doesn’t have quite the same musical oomph, but the story of the boy waiting for his lady to choose between a man and him and his pop-punk band will having you rooting for the boy and hoping that the runaway girl would come back to you, too.

One of the only discrepancies in the album, which is most apparent in the mellow, “Found Sleeping,” is Hot Club’s periodic love of noise making. “Mr. Demolition Ball” opens with the abstract, twanging of guitars and tapping of symbols, a phenomena which creeps briefly into “My Little Haunting,” and then fully takes over in “Found Sleeping.” This freeform style served the band well with heartbreaker “Hello, I Wrote A Song For You Called ‘Welcome To The Jungle,’” off their first album. Sadly, their attempt at a second song of that caliber falls short.

But overall, Hot Club keeps their energy consistent through the CD. “The Dice Just Wasn’t Loaded From The Start,” is a quieter, more endearing number about a relationship gone awry, followed by some more upbeat tracks. Disregarding “Found Sleeping,” the album finishes strong. Hot Club De Paris has created another winner. Live At Dead Lake is the musical embodiment of warm summer nights spent driving on back roads with someone you like, singing with the windows down and planning to make a recovery.
-Liz Wagner

Rating: 8 out of 10

Key Tracks: Hey Housebrick, The Boy Awaits Return of the Runaway Girl, The Dice Just Wasn't Loaded From the Start, I Wasn't Being Heartless When I Said Your Favorite Song Lacked Heart

Buy, Steal, or Skip: Buy

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