Posted by: will | February 27, 2007

Hot Cross…


Hot Cross “Risk Revival” (Hope Divison/Equal Vision)


Hot Cross burst onto the scene in 2003 with their amazing debut EP A New Set Of Lungs. According to some (including myself), the band has never been able to recreate the magic that the first EP captured. However, with Risk Revival, Hot Cross might have done just that. Hot Cross is made up of members of some of hardcore’s most noteworthy bands like legendary screamo band Saetia as well as Joshua Fit For Battle, You And I and Off Minor. With a pedigree like that perhaps the members have been held to a higher standard. With Risk Revival though, the band has finally delivered.

Hot Cross are a much different band from when they started four years ago. Members have come and gone and there has been substantial growth that has led us all the way to Risk Revival. Gone for the most part is the screaming that touched the band’s earliest work. The band sticks with a clearer sing/speak vocal style and it works quite well with the intricate musical backdrops provided. The vocal work is much more solid than on the band’s first full-length, Cryonics. While that record killed musically, the vocals tended to drag the album down after numerous listens. What has stayed a constant is the band’s inventive instrumental touches. As expected, the guitar work on Risk Revival is fantastic. On a track like “Turncoat Revolution”, you can see the incredible musicianship come to life. The song also has some addictive lyrical barbs, like I never met a trader I didn’t like, that have a tendency to burrow inside your head. “Cardiac Silence” is a straight-forward and catchy song the likes the band has never really created before. “Silence Is Failure” is one of the more atmospheric songs on Risk Revival. It proves the band does not always need a fast pace and a ton of signature changes to get their point across. The guitar work on “Existence” and the slower paced “Rejoinder” steal the show. “Finance Fuels The Sickness” starts out with an acoustic guitar before building into the full band mode. The song angrily speaks to how money is truly the root of all evil. At 13 songs and close to 44 minutes, Risk Revival stretches a bit too thin at times for this type of music. But, really, when the songs are this consistently good, it should not matter.

Risk Revival is a tremendous effort from Hot Cross. It is an album that proves how far the band has come in their short career. Risk Revival should gain the band some new fans and rightfully so. It should also keep those long-time fans like myself fairly happy as well. Most importantly though, Risk Revival truly does the band justice for the first time.

RIYL: Transistor Transistor, Twelve Hour Turn, Engine Down


Hot Cross – Turncoat Revolution (mp3)

Hot Cross – Fatefully (mp3)


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