Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I've been listening to a nice stack of recent 45s of late; surely you've noticed. I'll get back to my late 30s/early 40s target audience in a moment, wherein we revisted "the hits of yesteryear". In the meantime, meet Chicago's HOT MACHINES. Wow, this SCIENTISTS-style knockout blues-drawler is the king of the pile for top 45 of 2005 thus far. It may be quite hard to displace. I conjured on the basis of their compilation appearances that the band had been knocking about for a while, and they may very well have been, but this new single is actually their debut release. It’s a loose, dirty crawl through a thicket of slow, fuzzing ooze and combo sweet/spat vocals from a woman whom the world wide web sites claim is but a mere 19 years old (!). Alex White’s band is not all coiled up with dark tension and feedback like The Scientists, but the general weariness & brooding of the latter fits the former to a T. At least on the fantastic A-side. The B-side’s a little more raucous and fast, & features Richard Hell from THE PONYS on panicky backing vocals. They really walk together, rock together in the Windy City, don't they?