Hotpants Romance – It’s a Heatwave

hotpant1 “Here’s the story, of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls…” Oh, wait – sorry, this isn’t the Brady Bunch.  It’s more like three girls from the U.K. (Kate Armitage, Laura Skilbeck, and Lowri Evans to be exact) who formed a band by the lovely name of Hotpants Romance and who released their debut album last year, and while surely these three are very lovely girls in general, on record and at shows they cheekily attack their listeners with loud, unruly, shouty, sometimes (most-times?) off-key vocal harmonies and endearingly shambolic, rudimentary garage-rock riffs and drumming, while every so often slipping in a more introspective number featuring strummed acoustic guitar and calmer, airy vocals.
The album’s twelve songs zoom by at just over 17 minutes with the hot summer fun ending a bit too soon.  All three gals sing-talk and exclaim, snagging the listener’s ear with slivers of cuteness amid the shouting rampage, like on the song “Sugar Dip” where one of them, in the briefest of interludes, exasperatedly interjects “Please, mum, I need my sugar hit!” amid bouncy drums and a mad scramble of guitars.
 
The band’s theme song “Hotpants No Chance” engages with upbeat, jangling guitar strum and solid drumming and the kiss-off lyrics “You say you wanna hotpants romance / but I say baby, hotpants, no chance!”  The gals plow through “Effin’ + Jeffin’” with heavier rock riffs and screamed out lyrics, while “Blow My Fuse” s hakes, rattles, and rolls like the Donnas without the dead-pan sneer.
 
“We Used to Meet” alternates between a slow, deliberate bass line and spare drum beat on the verses and chaotic yelling and spastic drumming on the chorus sections. At just 22 seconds long, “Meg” is short, but sweet with softly wistful vocals, acoustic guitar strum, and tambourine jingle.
 
 “Stop Escaping” might just be the epitome of Hotpants Romance’s catchy, lo-fi greatness, with all three gals vocally pitching in, raggedly trading lyrics with varied percussion and guitar strum, until one hollers “Oh, no, I want you back again. / I want to lock your cage again.”  Ummm, hopefully they’re talking about a pet, and not a boyfriend!