The Underground Is A Dying Breed review by Hot Rod Circuit

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Mar 20, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.4 (8 votes)
Hot Rod Circuit: The Underground Is A Dying Breed
0

Sound — 7
The year is 1965, and you and I are undercover detectives on the hot rod circuit. That phrase by Mr. Burns from The Simpsons inspired a band from Alabama to call themselves Hot Rod Circuit. This wasn't the start of their music career as the guys have previously released a quite successful record by the name of Antidote. They were craving out their own unique sound since they were in school back in 1997, ignoring mainstreams and the tastes of radios. Their 2004's album Reality's Coming Through disappointed a lot of the fans and made most of them to forget the dreams about Hot Rod Circuit comeback. It didn't disappoint the band though as they managed to sign a deal with a new record label and release a new album. Like the band's early records the album carry emo atmosphere layered over rock beats. It is minor-harmonized and carry a great intense. The sound is multi-layered, there are two guitars playing different melodies at the same time plus a voice leading the third melody, which all together sums up to something volume and highly emotional. Occasional piano adds even more emotions to the music. The songs are plain and the same in the verses, but have bigger and louder choruses, turning them into sing-alongs. Due to upbeat drums by Dan Duggins you'll find yourself tapping your foot all through the record. A sing-along and a wise drumming turn any song into a potential hit -- having these two you just need to add a catchy melody. And that's where Hot Rod Circuit fail -- they are so focused on the same sound and clichd that you can hardly differ one song from another. Even after the 5th listen (I tried). The songs are often fast as if rushing somewhere -- like upbeat and almost happy What We Believe In. U.S. Royalty is catchy and more rock that anything else with sliding solo guitar. This is probably the strongest track on the record. Hot Rod Circuit finishes the album in a very traditional American way -- with a country song that falls out of the whole record. While you listen to a silly and strangely called 6-8, it's almost unbelievable somebody was just crooning a track ago.

Lyrics — 6
The lyrics on The Underground Is a Dying Breed are overfilled with emotions and the strongest words to describe the feelings. Vocalist Andy Jackson is partly loosing the love of his life, singing that I can't eat/I can't sleep and We're sinking like a stone/We're barely hanging on. Partly saying his last good-bye If we die right now/I hope you'll never be alone. Unfortunately this doesn't always go with Jackson's emo singing. Especially when he's whining You make me feel like I'm on fire (in 45's) and the back vocals repeat with the same boring intonation Oh you're freaking me out. You don't really believe either on of those At the same time the poetry has a share of good humor and maybe we shouldn't take all too serious. Jackson sings with a great pressure, like pushing words out of himself in Vampire, hoarse a bit on higher notes in What We Believe In, and meows in Holding On To Nothing. Those are the highlights, the rest of the time the vocals are pretty boring and are often hidden under hard-hitting drums.

Overall Impression — 7
The CD is far from being excepted to be successful -- not only it doesn't have any evident stand-outs, there's barely one catchy tune out of 12 tracks. But I guess that doesn't bother the band. Hot Rod Circuit stubbornly plays the same indie-emo rock since they've only started. That is to be greatly respected by the old fans, but doesn't attract new listeners to the band. The sound is pretty stale and you can't get rid of the feeling you've heard it somewhere before. It's hard to believe the album was recorded recently as the production sounds like getting back to the late '90s.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    naphtha74
    Couldn't disagree more, I could go on for several pages why your wrong, but you wouldn't take it on board, cause you have no idea what you are talking about. p.s. The Album is absolutely fantastic, and Hot Rod Circuit's sound has gradually progressed over the years, not to mention the phenomenal release rates of all of their records: truly, one of the most original, hard working bands, which the music scene is lacking.
    Spit it out
    I dont care for this band atall but isnt their album cover a slight copy from some of the Sepultura art work to the album 'Dante XXI' ?
    MrOtter
    well i loved "Sorry about Tomorrow" but haven't heard anything out of these guys since that. I really hope this review is wrong though because I am seeing them in concert in a week. I'll pick up the album then and see for myself
    megaganj
    The title of that cd annoys me. The underground isn't a dying breed. Vital remains and dying fetus just put out their best albums yet!
    coatimundi
    I'm pretty sure I disagree with your review, but your writing is so poor I'm not clear on what exactly you're trying to say. Did you graduate high school? Copying some biographical information off Wikipedia and making vague references to "indie-emo rock" hardly qualifies you to review music.
    SkinnyWhiteBoy
    coatimundi wrote: I'm pretty sure I disagree with your review, but your writing is so poor I'm not clear on what exactly you're trying to say. Did you graduate high school? Copying some biographical information off Wikipedia and making vague references to "indie-emo rock" hardly qualifies you to review music.
    That's the glory in reviews on this site being open to ANYONE. Everyone has opinions, and they are given the opportunity to express them as they wish. The downside, though, is grammar Nazis who try to strip a reviews credibility by pointing out spelling errors. Get a ****ing life.
    universeatwar
    I see your point SkinnyWhiteBoy, but seriously. This is atrocious. It seems like it was translated from a different language with Babelfish or something. This review sparked me to check out the band, if only because of the complete contrast of the review and the responses.
    goldenphoenix1
    if it's not astounding it's not worth listening to this album...if you happen to get into it which is really hard to do...all but weeks later you'll get over it and into some new shitty band with "bigger choruses" a more "melodic" sound and high itensity breakdowns. It's all the same. hopefully sometime soon an album or band comes along and kicks the living shit out of everybody get lives if you listened to this
    coatimundi
    SkinnyWhiteBoy wrote: coatimundi wrote: I'm pretty sure I disagree with your review, but your writing is so poor I'm not clear on what exactly you're trying to say. Did you graduate high school? Copying some biographical information off Wikipedia and making vague references to "indie-emo rock" hardly qualifies you to review music. That's the glory in reviews on this site being open to ANYONE. Everyone has opinions, and they are given the opportunity to express them as they wish. The downside, though, is grammar Nazis who try to strip a reviews credibility by pointing out spelling errors. Get a ****ing life.
    So everyone is given the opportunity to express their opinion besides me? How are my comments on the quality of this review any different than the author's comments on the quality of this album? Grammar is the last thing I would point out to strip this review of its credibility.
    tomthehammer
    I freaking love this album, the country influences and catchy melodies are sweet. How can you say their sound is stubborn when it's grown so much since "If i knew then what i know now" and "Sorry about Tomorrow"? Their sound has changed with times and if you can't see that then i can't take your opinion for very much at all.
    spikerzz
    Hot Rod Circuit has a unique sound. They have improved greatly. This was actually one of my favorite albums of 2007.