Review: Hot Rod Circuit

Hot Rod Circuit
“Sorry About Tomorrow”

HRC’s last album had just the right amount of emo mixed with just the right amount of punk, creating one of the better albums of last year.  So what the hell is wrong with this thing?  It sounds like diet emorock.  Did they go soft?  It’s not like emo has a lot of room to maneuver on the plushy side of the music spectrum without crossing the line into Wussville.  Throughout the entire A-Side, every time I felt like the album was really about to take off and lose the shackles of radio friendly mediocrity, a subdued chorus would get thrown in, immediately grounding the effort.  So what’s changed?  Those same haunting guitar licks fans of Built to Spill and The Get Up Kids will instantly recognize are still there, nestled snugly within the power chords and dissonant melodies.  What’s lacking however is the intensity and power found within HRC’s last release.  Things start to make a turn for the better with the track ‘Knees’, where for the first time HRC shakes the drudgery and commercialness of the first six songs and pours a little salt on some fresh wounds.  While certainly not the cream-filled truffles I was hoping for, “Sorry About Tomorrow” is nonetheless a King Sized Snickers.