Hot Heels Records
Goose Island, Chicago
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Our advice to Hot Heels Records? Lose the name; keep the music.
You’re confusing people, guys. Illinois Entertainer editor Steve Forstneger is a – generally – sharp guy, but even he thought your new album, Bullet Rain, was actually a compilation CD of bands on the Hot Heels Records label. It isn’t. Bullet Rain is actually the third release (Hot Heels Records EP in 2006 and The Hi-Jacked Generation in 2007) from the Chicago band called Hot Heels Records, who, ironically, don’t even operate with a record label. More confusing than the ambiguity of the group’s name is this whole “Chicago-based band blends Motown, Tom Waits, and Fats Domino on their third record” line so prominently featured in their press kit. With the exception of the swinging beat behind “I Could Kindly Whisper These,” there’s little Motown and even less Fats Domino in Brandon Seyferth, Aaron Hanna, and Marty Grossman’s music, though Waits’ loosey-goosey arrangements and barstool observations (Seyferth’s don’t-wake-the-neighbors voice is certainly nothing like Waits’ Marlboro Reds-and-Old Grandad rasp) are evident on “Martha” (coincidence?) and “Astoria.” There’s also hints of a less obsessive compulsive Townes Van Zandt and revved-up Uncle Tupelo during Bullet Rain’s best moments, which comprise most the album.
Will Phalen, Breaking Up A Dogfight, and the Matt Robinson Band open.
– Trevor Fisher
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