HOT’N’HEAVY/THE SHARP EASE: Split: 7”

It’s fitting that Hot’n’Heavy should join forces with The Sharp Ease for this split 7”. Both are Los Angeles-based bands lacking in the pretension that often plagues the scene in this city. Both are the writers of sharp, insightful lyrics and the players of heavy beats. Both are known for their highly energetic live shows. Hot’n’Heavy could be part of the High NRG Riot, should something exist, as influenced by Kathleen Hanna as they are by Bronski Beat. Listening to this album, it becomes obvious that Dolly Resendez and Rudy Blue are just as comfortable making zines at home as they are dancing to Trans X’s “Living on Video.” The duo offers two tracks on this release. “Colored Vinyl,” featuring Dolly on vocals, is a hyper-rhythm dance track in the vein of ‘80s Hi NRG music, but with a distinct punk twist. On “State of Confusion,” Rudy Blue takes center stage with flat but endearing vocals, as if New Order’s Bernard Sumner grew up in Los Angeles, as opposed to Manchester. On the flipside, The Sharp Ease prove, once again, that they lay claim to the best drummer in Los Angeles. Christine Kings wields her drumsticks like a Williams sister on the tennis court. Listening to her, I’m half-expecting to hear her rip off the skins. Yet, for all this power, she never drops a beat. Running through the rhythm is Paloma Parfrey sounding as if she is on the verge of kicking someone’s ass – all anger and fiery passion. While this 7” is a strong testament to the sound of both bands, it does not match seeing either group play in a dark, skanky club. The music just isn’t the same without watching Rudy Blue work the Jazzercise moves in the middle of the crowd as his boxers hang from under his gym shorts or Paloma Parfrey spitting out lyrics as she jumps into the audience.

 –liz (Spitshine; www.spitshinerecords.com)