The Rumours – ‘Hot Bang!’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Friday, 05 May 2017 05:00

The Rumours - Hot Bang artworkI remember well the days of reading through the latest Flipside fanzine and scouring the review section for new bands. There was really no way to check them out without blind buying, so there were plenty of times where money orders were sent and I impatiently waited for the albums to arrive. Today, we of course are able to immediately pull a band up on the internet, listen to samples, and move onto the next thing. I mention all this because this strikes me as an album and band I would have been mailing a money order to, based on their sound and image. 


I became aware of the Iowa-based The Rumours through a Facebook group and enjoyed their debut video from this album for the song ‘Let's Get It On,’ which preceded the album by several months. Outside of a five song EP, ‘Bad Habits’, there was not a lot else by the band on the internet though, especially songs for this album. It became an exercise of patience waiting to hear how the rest of the album sounded and if it would live up to my expectations. This debut full length, produced by the band, establishes some solid footing for them with some excellent songs that likely will remain live staples. 


The album begins with just drums and a vocal for the opening line before the rest of the band breaks down the door on ‘I Want Your Love (Want Your Drugs)’. I don't think they could have picked a better opener in terms of preparing the listener for what the album will include. The band is in your face with an album of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. By the end of the song, I was singing along to the chorus.


One of the band's identifiers is the distinct style of singing that Carli Foxx exhibits. It has some grit, some snottiness, and a lower tone that may turn some people off, but it connects with me on the majority of the songs here. I thought of old bands like Libertine (from Syracuse) and the Black Halos who became instantly recognizable because of the vocals. ‘Break my Heart’ highlights her vocals by mixing the rougher tone with a slightly cleaner vocal in other parts. Background vocals are provided in the manner of a shouty punk style in many of the songs. 


‘Talk about the World’ is one of my favorites and would make a cool single. It is a short sharp jolt of energy with a strong vocal hook. Musically, the band largely tap into a punk n roll style that would slot nicely into a musical well of 90's/ early 2000's bands like American Heartbreak, the Dragons, and old DGeneration. 


My favorite song of the whole album by a couple whiskers comes right in the middle with ‘Get It Right’ which slows down the pace slightly and has a killer groove to it. Ela Rose (bass) and Daniel Kluiter (drums) shine here. The guitar riffs add to the song with an awesome hook of "so get it right.... baby tonight" not leaving the brain long after hearing it.  The band keep the hits coming with the storming title track ‘Hot Bang,’ which turns up the speed and finds Carli hammering home the vocal of the simplest chorus to remember on the album. These two songs should be lynchpins in the live set for years to come. 



The unfortunate part of the last two killer tracks is they have set the bar incredibly high. ‘Let's Get It On’ has the feel of an ‘80s sleaze rocker with softer guitars under the verses. This was the first video and taster of the album released and is highly enjoyable, especially the guitar solo by Stu-the-Dew. When listening to the complete album though, the previous two songs continue to run through my head as they were so good. ‘Oblivious’ follows as a cool singalong that would be right at home on the soundtrack to an old ‘90s teen movie. The lead guitar work by Stu continues to shine. 


Through those first eightsongs, the Rumours have put forward a roughly 30 minute debut with multiple high points, and this is where I repeatedly either start the album over or turn it off. The last song ‘She's Got the Looks that Kill’ has just not connected with me at all to this point. Maybe hearing it in the live context would change it for me - I will leave that to the band if I am able to see them here in July.


To pull it full circle, I would have been very happen to have searched out this band and album back in the day. This album has been in consistent rotation since it was released and will likely fight for a place in my Top 15 or 20 of the year


‘Hot Bang’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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