The Hot Toddies – [Album]

Thursday, 05 August 2010

There are few things quite so endearing to a dyed-in-the-wool indie boy's heart than an all-girl indie pop group making twee, surfy songs. Not to sound condescending, but they're just so cute! Such was the case when The Go-Gos attempted to be trashy but came up with Talk Show, when The Runaways spat out “You're Too Possessive,” when Joan Jett Covered “Crimson And Clover” on her own and Sleater-Kinney spent most of Dig Me Out trying to sound formulaic. In each case, the results were uniformly twee and cute, and the release of those records caused everyone who heard them to fall in love with both the band and its' individual members. It's the exact same vibe that The Hot Toddies have caught onto with Get Your Heart On.

From the opening, incredibly simple beat and stiff keyboard lick of “Ordinateur Ordinaire,” listeners have no doubt what they're in for on Get Your Heart On, and that's the most exciting thing about it; listeners know it's going to be cute – they're banking on it being cute so much that, if it isn't, that could be the event that causes listeners to turn the record off and demand their money back.

Happily, The Hot Toddies don't let anyone down at any point during Get Your Heart On's ten songs. That is to say that the ecord plays exactly like one would expect it to and, as long as a listener enters in with that knowledge in hand, they'll walk away happy in the end.

So what is there to expect? Well, simply said, Get Your Heart On is comprised of ten pop songs. Real pop songs – not the out-of-reach and ethically questionable product that big record labels and Top 40 radio peddle as lifestyle music on those under the age of majority. No, there is little to nothing suggestive in songs like “Only With You,” “Slow Cookin” and “Rain Of Shine,” and those that do talk about love or S-E-X (like “Celiac Love Song,” “Boys On Bikes” and “Matt Skiba Sandwich”) still keep it really clean and innocent.

That innocence is The Hot Toddies' ace in the hole, capable of winning anybody who hears Get Your Heart On over – almost from the moment they hear it. The rushed and nervous sounding instruments on the record give each song a sort of anxious and insecure feel and, while the three-part vocal lines (they're not harmonies really, because each part hits the same notes) sound almost childlike in their delivery which further drives that idea home. Further, each and every song sticks very close to its' tight, pop structure that doesn't allow for any instrumental grandstanding whatsoever – outside of “Matt Skiba Sandwich,” in fact (the total lyric sheet is the title line repeated over and over for a minute and twelve seconds) – which it's possible could be construed as mildly lecherous, but it would be the longest of long stretches to try and do so; The Hot Toddies place all of their focus on the song and how much fun it is to play as they're playing it and then do the very same thing for the next song. The emphasis here is placed squarely on “play,” and that overrides any other possible undertone.

As much fun as the album is, some awful critic will inevitably ask how many teddy bears The Hot Toddies dismembered to get this much fluff and when they'll grow up (Get Your Heart On basically just extends the same values that the band first put forth on their debut in 2007) but, really, that's a fairly granola-headed question. On Get Your Heart On, it's true that The Hot Toddies have done the exact same thing as they did on their first album, but they've made it fun again; how many bands can say that?



Get Your Heart On
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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