Words: Poppy Richler
“Pull off your skivvies and pull up a chair!”
These famous first words from Warmduscher’s ‘At The Hotspot’ set the scene for the cinematic doldrums their latest release beckons you into. The six-piece’s fourth album witnesses more overt musical gear changes – rather than putting the pedal to the metal and letting the sparks fly off the tyres, listeners are equally entertained by a series of janky U-turns from cruising to all out hot wheels.
‘At The Hotspot’ represents a slight polishing of the band’s sound – a polish more akin to a week-old duck tail hairstyle rather than a clean surface to be clear. This “beautiful carnage” in the band’s own words, was brought into existence with the helping hands of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Al Doyle. Still screaming hedonism from the rooftops, ‘At The Hotspot’ is a sadistic and devilishly infectious exploration of life’s un-glorious mundanity.
The first track, ‘Live At The Hotspot’ opens with the familiar tale of This Little Piggy. However, Piggy got lost on the way to the market and found himself spending, “all his money at the freakshow trying to find love.” This inversion of childhood innocence imagines a totally immersive landscape akin to the backstreets of Gotham or Banksy’s Dismaland. The seductive sleaze of the track leaves listeners in a dissociated haze, only to be sharply woken by the familiar crunch of the band’s notorious strings section on ‘Hot Shot’ and ‘Eight Minute Machine.’ ‘Wild Flowers’ is also worth a mention for its miraculous population of Radio 6’s hit lists, despite it giving 18 “fucks” to be precise.
The second half of the album ups the ante with its funk powered rhythms and dirty disco drives. This is the album’s greatest feat – every tune is made to dance to, whether it’s the synthetic percussive beats punching through ‘Twitchin’ in the Kitchen’ or the polyrhythmic bass stomp on ‘Baby Toe Joe.’ ‘Double Vision’ is perhaps the most raucous, harnessing Warmduscher’s ability to make music that resembles a broken telephone pole teetering on its back legs. Immediately after, the smooth and slippery return with ‘Super Cool’ and ‘Greasin’ Up Jesus,’ bringing the mayhem to a close.
The contrast between the delirious high-pitched backing vocals and frontman Clams Baker’s deadpan wit make for a highly entertaining dialogue throughout. It’s almost as if the devil and angel are residing on either shoulder. Who will you listen to? Why not revel in the dirt? Skeet skeet skeet skeet!