Hot Hot Heat: Elevator

By Kelly Johnson

Hot Hot Heat has been receiving some cold, cold reviews for its latest album, “Elevator.”

After massive exposure, relentless touring and a shiny new guitarist, the band has saddled up to dish out some more of the sweet sweet pop so widely celebrated on “Make Up the Breakdown.”

It seems most critics have come down off their sugar high after fending for more material during the band’s two-and-a-half-year absence. Has the band fallen prey to the unsustainable expectations associated with an unprecedented breakthrough album?

No, not really. Triple H’s members have taken precautions to make sure this fate does not befall them. They even left unlucky track No. 13 empty for good measure.

Besides showcasing again the band’s affinity for repetitive titles, the lead single “Goodnight Goodnight” is a solid offering. No major changes have been thrown into the band’s signature mix of twisting guitars and melodic hooks that dig into your brain for months.

“Island of the Honest Man,” “Shame on You” and the Cars-inspired “Pickin’ it Up” also rank as some of the band’s best songs to date.

What made “Breakdown” so infectious after countless listens relied heavily on its conciseness. With 10 quick songs, there was no time to mess around – the melodies and riffs plummeted at the listener at a ferociously pleasant speed.

The problem with “Elevator” is there is too much filler and down time between songs. The sugary goodness drips in spurts, and back-to-back songs such as “No Jokes-Fact” and “Jingle Jangle” give a lull to the stronger tracks.

“Middle of Nowhere” sounds engineered right for light-rock radio with a pop sound that plays like Hershey’s kisses to the band’s usual Toblerone.

Ultimately, it is refreshing to hear the band is not just a flash in the Ferrara Pan and instead shows it can still churn out some very tasty treats.