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Hot Rod Circuit | Realitys Coming Through | review | alternative | Lollipop

Hot Rod Circuit

Reality's Coming Through (Vagrant)
by Jessica Parker

Though Hot Rod Circuit's last album, Sorry About Tomorrow, was charming and sweetly emotive, Reality's Coming Through marks the band's foray into more mature pop-rock. Blending today's pop sensibilities with an early '90s rock sound, the album experiments with some songs that come off as adult-contemporary and others as college rock. The songs, like lead singer Andy Jackson's voice, are uneven, but this isn't necessarily bad. Jackson sings with an angry, throaty yell in the angst-filled "Fear the Sound;" he happily bops in "Cheap Trick" (a definite ode to the band); and he twangs for the alt-country number, "The Best You Ever Knew." Jackson and the entire band come across best in the balladish "Save You," which is most reminiscent of their earlier work.

The creative spontaneity of Hot Rod Circuit's last album evolves into a heavy reliance on catchy pop hooks in Reality's Coming Through. Each song's chorus is void of real ingenuity, but it will still have you tapping your foot and singing along. Guest vocalists also add to some songs; the most interesting is labelmate Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional, who provides the screams for a song called "Unfaithful," a subject Carrabba seems to understand pretty well. In the end, a band trying to experiment with genre boundaries rather than making every song sound the same gets more appreciation from me, and Hot Rod Circuit continues to positively progress toward a sound they can call their own.


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