Apparently everything moves in a 20 year cycle. Going with this theory, we can infer the 80s are cool again. I am sure the members of Flock of Seagulls are creaming their pants at the prospects this could bring. Last year, the hype machine (i.e. so called rock journalism found in Spin, Rolling Stone, etc.) was chugging out garage rock as the newest thing. Could this year be the year New Wave in some watered down form becomes the new “it” genre? Well, if you have been reading Spin or various other music publications, you’d see the kids who could lead this new trend, Hot Hot Heat, with their album Make Up the Breakdown.
What you may be hearing is that this album is incredibly danceable. The problem with this claim is that the album lacks any groove whatsoever. Dry and robotic drumming permeate the entire album, and the bass isn’t really moving much either. In fact, there is only one track on this album that is remotely resembles something a person could dance to. “Bandages,” the initial single, is the album’s best track. If the band could expand on what they are able to do on this track, there could be real potential, but the rest of the album remains boring and mechanical throughout. Finally, the worst part of the album is the lead vocals. Steve Bay’s voice is like a blender ripping apart your favorite toy.
So does this album possibly possess any redeeming qualities? The single is the only sign of hope for the band, but judging from the rest of that album, it’s a fluke. Contrary to popular belief, Hot Hot Heat isn’t the glorious and fun return of New Wave. Steve Bay and crew have drained the music of all qualities that make you want to dance and enjoy yourself. Which leaves me to wonder: If the 80s are coming back, will we all have Flock of Seagulls haircuts in a year?