On first hearing there’s something deeply familiar about LA band Hot Rumour’s debut EP, ‘MMXVI’.
Opening track, ‘Call ‘Em Out’, a polished, very professional sounding song, could have been written and performed by Oasis at their peak; the chorus and bridge remind us in part of ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’. Second song ‘Two Days To Millennium’ is a slick offering with a great drum beat holding together the rising vocals, racing keys, and strong guitar work. Again, we’re struck by the familiarity of it. Hot Rumour have only been around since December last year, but all three members of the band have had considerable experience in the music industry. The vocals of lead singer Aaron Ficchi are strong and powerful, escalating, calling to mind those of Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, particularly in their song, ‘Take Me Out’.
The third song of the six track EP is the lead track, ‘Run To Me’, released as a single in March, and which we reviewed here. It’s breathy and sultry and angry and angsty, and a good choice as a debut single, with its catchy, “oh oh oh oh” hook. In fact, pretty much everything about this EP is a good choice. The production values are top notch, demonstrating the considerable producing ability of band member Frankie Siragusa.
‘All Going To Hell’ is where Aaron’s vocal skills are brought to the fore. His falsetto is flawless: Justin Hawkins of The Darkness might well be envious! Soaring guitars, the backing vocals of Siragusa, and Josh Ficchi’s classic rock drumming style all come together to make this song the anthem piece of the album.
Aaron’s singing prowess is again showcased in song number 5, ‘Psycho’. Manically voicing the lyrics, he demonstrates both his range and strengths. Siragusa backs him up with a mad keyboard style; lots of “plinks” interspersing the melody.
Final song on the EP, ‘Alien’, is a gorgeous, almost choral number, much akin to Coldplay. Again, Aaron Ficchi’s vocals are the focal point of this track; the synth organ however ties these together these with the heavy drums. In parts it’s also very reminiscent of Kodaline, particularly the “oh oh oh” chorus, bringing to mind their song, ‘All I Want’. So okay, there’s an Irish vibe there too.
‘MMXVI’ is a great EP. It’s one any band should be happy to have in their back catalogue, and as a debut EP it’s an extraordinary testament to the skill and talent of the band members. If Hot Rumour can sustain this – and we can’t see why not – then they should have a great future ahead of them.