Slicing fast and frantic with their debut single, “Kindred,” Melbourne’s HoT To RoT has been one of the most interesting discoveries of 2018. The song picks up the jolted-nerves punk tradition handed down by Au Pairs and X-Ray Spex and runs it through an updated acid bath. Flanking that beast of a song with an additional five to round out their debut, the band doesn’t falter in their construction of a demeanor of menace, creeping unease and bottled fury. While most tracks can’t hope to capture the 12-volt tongue touch of “Kindred” they build an EP that’s nuanced and nimble around that track’s centerpiece.
From the slow slink into “Strangers At Best,” to the disorienting percussive snag and static riffs on “Oxytocin,” the short form collection is a nail-scratch blood letter that keeps from falling to pieces with a veneer of caffeinated cool. The players box up tension that’s constantly unbound by the belt-sander bedlam of Blaise Adamson’s vocals. She’s disenchanted and deadly accurate with her delivery of inflammatory ire. Where many post-punks are riding the groove and looking to twitch anxiously in the corner, HoT To RoT barb their wire-wrought angles with an embattled rage that seems all the more necessary with each passing day on this slog through 2018. Quite a few of their local talent pool seem bound to slow things down to a slacker crawl, but here HoT To RoT are making unrest feel like the only option.
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