Krautrock cool, sunny California-emulated harmonies and silky smooth breaks come together in the hands of Hot Chip, one of the most interesting acts to come out of England in 2005. Already out abroad, the debut “Coming on Strong” is now available in North America in hopes of making some noise on the hipster club circuit this winter.
Hyperbole prone British journos have been making desperate reaches to pinpoint the Chip’s sound, comparing them to everyone from Ween to Will Oldham to Timbaland to the Neptunes to the Spencer Davis Group. Such confusion serves as a credit to the production of Joe Goddard, whose music knowledge is learned enough to recognize the genius of Leonard Cohen and Just Blaze with equal measure, but sounds like neither one of them in the least.
The utilization of American hip-hop scenarios in the context of the English slang is exactly what makes “Coming On Strong” such a unique listen. Like Ray Davies in Rocawear, Goddard and keyboardist Alexis Taylor sing about cruising in Peugeots blasting Yo La Tengo on “Playboy” and dreaming of pimped out SUV’s on “Shining Escalade.” But if the new single through a freshly inked deal with DFA, the straight-up house anthem “Over and Over,” is any indication of the next album, expect nothing less than a surprise at every turn with Hot Chip. – Ron Hart