The Hot Puppies - Under the Crooked Moon
Reviewed by Andreas on 26th August 2006
Earlier this year, or it might have been late 2005, I received a promo single from a band I'd never heard of before. They were called The Hot Puppies, and the single was called "Terry". Incidentally, that is the name of my brother-in-law of sorts. That was an unrelated, but amusing fact. In any case, the single was a swooning, organ-driven song about dangerous love, and it tasted so very good. In July, the band released this album, their debut. It has taken us a while to review, but fear not, we take our time to ensure quality.
On "Under the Crooked Moon" you, the gentle listener, is taken into one of those places where the girls are always somewhat coy and beautiful, throwing their hair in just that perfect, cinematic way as they laugh at your (naturally brilliant) jokes. It is desperately, hopelessly romantic and my, how delightful. The aforementioned "Terry" opens the album delightfully, followed by the somewhat less memorable "The Bottled Ship Song". It has its catchy moments, but is over before you remember the chorus. Luckily things pick up with "Green Eyeliner" and "Bonnie and Me", both of which are relatively short, sweet songs.
The entire album is quite upbeat, bouncy even. However, once "The Girl that Was Too Beautiful" starts drifting out of the speakers, the so far sugary songwriting takes another step up and becomes even more. The organs swirl, the guitars hammer, and vocalist Becky puts it all into a chorus that is best described by the word "glorious". Followed by the melodic and wonderful "Love or Trial", it provides a great centrepiece for the album as a whole. The two songs save the album from ever growing stale and repetitive by pure force of melody and romantic mood. One listen to the infectious keyboards of "Love or Trial" and you'd be inhuman not to have at least feet tapping.
One of the closing numbers is called "How come you don't hold me no more?" and is just like experiencing the sour moments of a relationship. It is a perfect pop song, but is a bit hollow compared to the other songs on "Under the crooked moon". The production fails some, and the melody that should grip you from the first moment doesn't take until it has almost passed by completely. Thus are we getting to know the downside of the album. It remains somewhat inconsequential, just a bit away from those songs that stick in your head for years and years. After listening to the album, there is a residual feeling that there should be something more to complete the experience.
Still, despite some of the songs passing right through one ear and out the other, you will find yourself putting this album back in the player again and again. With "Under the Crooked Moon" The Hot Puppies have created an album that makes you remember all those glorious, romantic moments. Blimey.
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