Artist – HOT MT
Album title – AU (Alternative Universe)
Release date – May 2017
Label – Doom Trip Records
Link – https://doomtrip.bandcamp.com/album/au-alternate-universe
Reviewer: Wayne Rex
Where am I? I’ve woken up, it’s hot and sunny. The atmosphere feels peaceful and happy. Every person who has passed me has said hi and smiled. This isn’t earth.. It’s like a utopian separate, mirrored dimension to my own life but with all the hate, misery and darkness taken out. I don’t ever want to leave here!! It’s how life should be, beautiful and full of joy and love.
They were the last thoughts I was having, laying on the settee, nursing a hangover from a Thursday night alone, drinking rum. This wasn’t just a pleasant dream though. I was listening to AU (alternative Universe) by HOT MT and their glorious, dreamlike, perfect pop influenced my dreams like listening to Coltrane made me want to become a jazz head.
The album kicks of with a fairy tale of sonic beauty with darkness repeats, the first track on this 15 track record. With it’s high production value and perfectly crafted pop instrumental track driving the song like a unicorn train on acid and accompanied by a hypnotic and charming vocal track this already has meditated me into relaxation and OM.
A night in china town is the second song. I have already come across this before, on a Doom Trip compilation and was a stand out track for me then and now I think I dig it even more. This is literally better than anything in the top 100 charts in any country around the world and should be a massive hit. It’s like German engineering, as in everything works perfectly.
Queen of shapes is up next. It’s a cracking rock track. Still with it’s roots in pop but nonetheless a rock track with hints of influence from Kate Bush and 90’s British Rock/Pop sounds from the North.
Next up is a track that has a distinctively darker feel and edge to the others that have come before. With a Portishead style vocal and some superb synth work going on. Then as the drums kick in it’s like The Sunday’s have reformed and gained a killer songwriting edge like never before. I shouldn’t make comparisons as it’s lazy and this is truly a unique band and a unique song that is 100% HOT MT. With a third change in gearing and feel this is like a pop opera!! Superb!
The fifth track is Ivory Tower. This has a late 60’s vibe to it. Still dreamy pop track but with an almost garage atmosphere to it. This would make a great driving track. Even in my little Suzuki, I’d feel like Face from The A Team driving a white corvette.
Tournament I is the next song. Folk pop as it’s finest. Where is the campfire to dance around when you need one? What I like about this album is that every track is different and even the vocal is unique to each track. It’s obviously the same voice but it’s not lazy and explores a range of feelings to fit each song perfectly without getting boring or repetitive. This song kicks arse by the way!
Tournament II is next. Another folk pop vibe but with a darker and harder edge. I can hear this being played in Glastonbury town, in a Green Man shop and people just randomly stopping to listen to it and get on down in a hippy love-in!!
Dead Man I. Xayide is in at eight. This is like a wonderfully intense (in a good way) duet, with both the regular female vocal track and a male too, both singing the same lyrics, it’s 3D-pop! There’s a killer backing track going on too. With a vibe akin to British bands of the 90’s that were influenced from the teaching of India.
Then as soon as the last track ended there is part two, entitled, Dead Man II. The Starcluster – A slowly building up kick arse space track, with dreamy and haunting vocals and a backing track rumbling until an electronic crescendo of lovely chaos.
Then.. Dead Man III. Battle – A triptych of pop wonder. All similar but totally different and that is hard to accomplish, especially done as well as this. It kinda reminds me of the flaming lips.
Old Emperors is in at eleven. This is again, totally different in vibe and vocal style to the others. I’m loving the flat detuned snare sound and orchestral, brass background arrangements that then morph into a synth piece and then flute!! It truly is a gorgeous track and I think it’s a fav of mine. Just so happy and uplifting.
Ready to feel good again is up next. It’s a track that whether be-known to them or not has a welsh folk progression to it as well as strut yo ass funk to it too. Yes, yes I am ready to feel good again and mainly it’s thanks to your great music!
Tranceforming is the thirteenth track on this amazing record. Dreamy west cost synth-pop and a powerful beauty to it that could make you want to cry or to feel elated, depending on ones mood. Tranceforming is a musical tonic and should be taken liberally.
The penultimate track is Starheart and from the moment the choir sample kicks in you know you’re about to embark on a musical journey that you don’t want to end. This is a perfect pop track. Well written, brilliantly produced, easily accessible to people who really dig music and for those who just listen to music when in the car on the radio. People talk about U2 make great pop music but they don’t. These guys do however and they will be a force to be reckoned with soon and you will be their new no.1 fan.
Alas we have come to the last track. This one is called 24 Hour. This has a potential soundtrack to an American / Danish movie collaboration written all over it. Some wonderful melodic guitar and confident but vulnerable vocal performances on this track. This track, like the other fourteen are so well produced and put together. There haven’t been many acts over the years that make genuine and brilliant pop music. Abba, Prince, The Beatles obviously spring to mind but in recent times not that many. Things are about to change though and another name will be added to the list. HOT MT, a name to remember and look out for.
I think I shall drink another dark rum, kick back on the settee and play this album again and meditate away to pop brilliance and I suggest everyone who reads this does the same (dark rum and settee relaxing, optional)