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Volume 68, Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Hotwire album falls in nu-metal 'Routine'

By Zach Lee
The Daily Cougar

Every so often in the annals of music, a band comes along to wake up the industry and prove that musical innovation still exists. To put it simply, Hotwire is not that band. The best part of their major label debut is the appropriateness of its title: The Routine. Every track on this album is a standard and mundane imitation of the sound that Staind, Linkin Park and Korn helped to create. Hotwire steals the crown of contrived rock from reigning kings, Limp Bizkit.

Vocalist Rus Martin, guitarist Gabe Garcia, bassist Brian Borg and drummer Chris Strauser site musical influences from The Buzzcocks to Michael Jackson to Jim Croce to the Dead Kennedys, but one vital piece is missing. Each of their influences had an original sound that stirred up a dreary state of music. Hotwire cannot claim to do that, though they do try. Martin attempts to sum up his lyrics by comparing them to "someone's delusional journal that you found." Adding "and copied" to the end of that statement makes it a much more apt description of Hotwire's music. Hearing their songs on the radio wouldn't make even the most hardcore listeners realize that they are hearing a new band.

The first single is the first song, "Not Today." It starts off with slow guitars, but it quickly degenerates into simplified heavy riffs and screaming. "Invisible" is strangely fast-paced, and it has the potential to start an energetic mosh pit, but the lyrics are forced.

"Neuro Girl" is the standard ode to a past lover. "What you want to say you don't say at all/ And what you want to do you won't do at all/ And how you feel now you don't want to feel at all/ And what you want to say you won't say at all," Martin sings in his whiney voice.

For the CD, the band worked with producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed, Porno for Pyros), but even he wasn't up to his usual level. Hotwire may appeal to those that want to ride the nu-metal wave until it disappears and retreats back to the ocean, but to anyone else, it's just a waste of your hard earned cash. 

Jello Biafra, lead singer of the Dead Kennedys once said, " (I) Wanna fit in like a cog/ in the faceless machine." It doesn't seem that the members of Hotwire understand that Biafra is using sarcasm. Instead of making a wave themselves and trying something new, they fit in very nicely in the faceless machine of popular music.


The Routine

RCA Records

The Verdict: Don't buy it, you'll just encourage them.

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