Hot Flash Heat Wave – “Hesitation”

hot flash heat wave

Hot Flash Heat Wave have been one of my favorite discoveries this year; the San Francisco-based early twenty-somethings craft a serene blend of power-pop and surf-rock that manages a bevvy of punchy hooks despite the amiable nonchalance. This was on full display with brilliant track “Turning Blue“, off the band’s eponymous EP. It has been a few months since I heard from the band, so I was delighted to find a new track of theirs – “Hesitation” – in my inbox yesterday. “Hesitation” is Hot Flash Heat Wave’s newest single, and provides an early look at their forthcoming debut full-length.

For this gem, they ditch the surf-y aesthetic apparent in some of their other efforts and opt for a muscle-y power-pop rocker with touches of British art-rock, like a crisper version of The Cribs or Art Brut. Slabs of guitar chords intertwine with nonchalant vocals for an instantly infectious thrust, leading to a fantastic chorus around 01:30 that features guitar twangs and trickles alongside a varied vocal delivery. My favorite part of the track occurs when the spoken-word bits around the two-minute point combine with sporadic bursts of guitar distortion and effects, which basically sounds like the guitar complaining — in welcome and melodic form. With tightly concise guitar leads and aptly placed vocal maneuvering, “Hesitation” continues Hot Flash Heat Wave’s run as showing themselves as one of the most impressive newcomers of 2014.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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