Biscuits, Triscuits…


Hot Box- Four Eyes
September 7, 2009, 6:02 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Now that Hot Box is officially broken up, I have finally found the time to review their first and I guess now only full-length. It’s a bummer when talented bands can’t continue, but the break up is not an ugly one and perhaps one day, these musicians will meet again.

Hot Box

Four Eyes

BNS Sessions

This Boston four-piece’s first full-length record carries it’s weight in unpredictability and unique-ness through all nine of it’s songs.  From dissonant, asymmetrical guitar parts to slow, ambient drones, Hot Box is constantly surprising. Two female lead singers switch off vocals from Amanda Dellevigne’s thick, Bjork-esque vibrato and quirkiness to Danielle Stolzenberg’s sweet, un-assuming lull. The best part of this story is that the two met at a neuroscience laboratory at Boston College, forming in 2007 and then joined with drummer, Eric Kogelschatz and bassist, Jon Gill.

It’s really impressive and exciting when music just continues to jump out from song to song. There’s an underlying connection in all the music with shifty guitar, popping drums and shoe-gazing lulls, but the math-rock-y solos and bittersweet vocals bring forth new elements in every song, keeping one on their toes. The opening song “Busy Busy Busy” is oh so busy, but amazingly twitchy with guitar and drums dripping blissfully beside one another. Dellevigne’s vocals have this chilling quality that are both welcoming and standoffish at the same time and it’s amazingly intriguing.  “Chainsmokers” booms and bellows through the speakers with intricate guitar and bass intertwined. Stolzenberg sings on this one in a higher tier that contrasts quite nicely with the low instrumentals.

Hot Box’s songs roll along unevenly, creating space and sound where you may not exprect it. There’s an off-kilter quality about it, from the ever-changing style of drums to the plinky indie guitar riffs, to the slowing, twinkly atmospheric quality. “Jacob” comes in with booming hollow drums and winding low guitar. The tunes is shifty and natural feeling, with Dellevigne’s shaky, poignant vocals singing “You’re gonna fall/ Paradise is all your after/ Know who to call/ Jacob come down that latter.”  There’s something exciting  about to hearing such an array of styles and volumes wrapped in one  and it actually being successful. That being said, their intuitive nature and inventiveness will certainly be missed in the Boston music scene. Hopefully, despite their disbanding, their sound will get heard, because it’s definitely worth a listen.

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