There is something very fake and preposterous about Hot Chip. No one’s wearing anything with sequins. Each and everyone of them had probably worked in a library at some point in their lives, have unquestionable morals and were perhaps lords of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in their past lives. The lead singer appears to be wearing normal, prescription glasses and looks anything but androgynous. C’mon, the guy sings like C3PO and was once dressed as the joker, the non-crazy kind. And they call themselves kings of the dance floor. Say it with me.
One Life Stand is the band’s fourth coming as professors of dance music 101. At times, the music sounds sooo wrong, but 5 seconds later, its so right it’s not even funny, as you’re left twisting your joints with ridiculous dance moves, delirious and secretly praying that you don’t become a victim of premature arthritis. We witness new influences, new instrumentations, sounds from possibly another culture, but it’s still Hot Chip, there is nothing groundbreaking and nothing that isn’t worth your mad love.
In “Alley Cats”, they attempt to sound more sensitive and less mechanical, and although these things hardly work without a wispy fringe, you don’t find yourself throwing your hands up in the air and giving up. “We have Love” sees them sampling some crazily outlandish 80’s sounds and trying to console their audience by hypnotically chanting about the presence of love. And with tracks like the glamourous opener “Thieves in the night“, mid album divider “One Life stand” and the album closer “Take it in“, it feels like watching an episode of American Idol and suddenly realizing that the contestant is actually exciting. VERY exciting.
Take the new video for “One Life Stand” for example. Can you do that thing with your shoulders? YES YOU CAN! Do you want to punch your fists forward as if you were on the ski master? YES YOU DO. Does it make you dance like an eygptian and wave your hands in the air like Taichi? YOU DON’T SAY. They make dance music so accessible and so relatable, it becomes that much more personal.
The great thing about the band is that they understand that dance music is really about the identity and personal image that comes along with it. As a result, they stood out by going on an entirely opposite direction from all the other bands. With Hot Chip, you dont have to buy a $500 helmet to purchase your “personal” identity as their fan, you only have to learn to dance like a chicken. The hair gel and the shoulder pads are always lurking in the background, like the ridiculous keyboard reframe in the single. Your feelings take centrestage, and my god, its always more fun that way.
One Life Stand makes you realize with a lot of conviction that you don’t want that shaggy haired dude on the turntable, you don’t want that skinny legged junkie making slick music about wasting away in Paris with a million other skinny chicks. You think that Hot Chip are a just a bunch of normal geeks and you want to believe that if they can make music this great, anyone, including you, could do it as well, if you just kept on feeling. And then you buy a macbook and ask a friend to teach you how to use Garageband.
I can just imagine the disco of the future. It’ll be packed, the strobe lights would still be going, but there would be complete silence except for the random foot stamping. The DJ’s not there, everyone’s got their ipods, and they’re all dancing like chickens to their self made playlists/songs.
The deck is empty, the DJ’s dead. Put you hands together for the music of the new decade.
Download One Life Stand from Knox Road.
visit Hot Chip at Myspace.