Hot Chip – The Warning

Hot ChipNew-rave. That’s the new scene apparently sweeping the country, if you believe the NME. The fact that I’m living on the other side of the world from most of you, probably means I’m even more removed about what’s hot or not in the UK. To be honest, I’m really tiring of NME’s continual need for scenes and movements in music to justify pushing bands into our collective consciousness. But why? Do the bands not stand up on their own musical merits? Do they have to be lumped in with other similar-sounding bands to sell their music? ‘course not, but hey that’s been the way of the music press for years now. The “New-Rave” already have my pity for being written off in three years time whilst we all listen to “New-Britpop” (you know it’s inevitable).

So it was with some trepidation that I listened to the new album from Hot Chip, a London 5-piece supposedly at the forefront of “New Rave”, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with their album. I was expecting some retro dance sounds, but in truth The Warning is more like a dancier version of Four Tet’s previous couple of albums. Opener “Careful” has a glitch-ey, Aphex Twin-esque beat but the female backing vocals did remind me of the good, “old back in the day” dance hits. But after that, the album delves into more downbeat territory. “Colours” is a minimal but warm track that only gets going when the chorus hits. “Look After Me” is another gentle track; replace the electronics with acoustic guitars and you’d have a Jame Taylor track. “The Warning” contrasts a garage-beat with a simple xylophone lead and bizarre lyrics (“Hot Chip will break your neck”).

Best track of all is the surprisingly melancholy “And I Was A Boy From School”, the band’s vocals really come into effect here making it a woozy but heartfelt track. The real surprise of the album is the vocal harmonies of the band members, with both high and low pitches melding into one to make it sound that they’re all singing because they want to, rather than being the centre of attention. The Warning was a big surprise for me, and one that deserves better than being lazily lumped in with scene created by journos.

Hot Chip – And I Was A Boy From School (a brilliant Art-Attack inspired video):

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  1. They’re the band with that casio song, right? The one that goes “over & over & over & over…”. They were nominated for the Mercury Prize as well.

  2. Yeah, that’s the song. I think it’s the new single too.




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