We last heard from Manchester-based quartet Hot Shorts back in 2017, with the release of their self-titled debut album. The band formed in 2013, around the songwriting of guitarist Chris Killen and bassist Peet Earnshaw, before expanding to their current four-piece line-up with the addition of drummer Lara Williams and guitarist Joel Nicholson. The band are set to return in October when Icecapades records release their second album, I Understand And I Wish To Continue. Today we’re premiering the first track from the record, Who Brings A Guitar To A Party?
As fans of the band will have come to expect, Who Brings A Guitar To The Party? is a combination of witty and just a little bit melancholy, fitting into the album’s repeated theme, “the songs are mostly.. about being slightly too old and British to still be into 90s alt rock as much as we are”. In this case the band specifically focus on one band, Weezer. “What’s your favourite Weezer song? I’m sorry I don’t know that one, but if you want I could play something original?”. Incidentally our favourite Weezer song is Undone (The Sweater Song) and as for Hot Shorts, Chris confirms, “mine is currently ‘Mexican Fender’. I like how dumb and sincere Rivers’ lyrics can be at times. I guess my all-time ultimate favourite Weezer song is probably ‘Tired of Sex’ though”.
If you’re worried this is a little too much of a tribute to the much loved geek-rockers, in reality Weezer are just a metaphor for the societal-norms of others. The desire to hear Weezer rather than anything new is a reminder of the way nostalgia stamps on the dreams of new songwriters. While elsewhere they muse on the expectation of how we’re meant to behave in social situations, and how that doesn’t always reflect who we are: “Who brings a guitar to a party? Turns out it’s me”.
As with bands like The Goon Sax or Terry, there’s a familiarity to Hot Shorts’ influences, and they have no interest in hiding that from the world. The lurching pulse of the rhythm guitar, and steady drum beat create a backing, atop which guitar riffs and the easy-vocal style are brought into crystal clarity. Throughout, Hot Shorts seem to be riffing on the experience of being a band in 2019, keenly observed snapshots, with tongue-firmly in cheek. As they sing in the song, “what’s your favourite Hot Shorts song? I’m sorry but your answer is wrong, I’ll ask again when you’ve heard this new one”, they might just have a point you know.
I Understand and I Wish to Continue is out October 25th via Icecapades Records. Click HERE for more information on Hot Shorts.
Wednesday 30th October – Venue MOT Unit 18, London
Saturday 9th November – Soup Kitchen, Manchester (Album Launch)