Hot Guts have somehow managed to elude me in any sort of preconception of what their debut album Edges would possibly sound like. I’ve heard their tracks on 7-inches over the past couple or so years, but I was still left scratching my head some. This was only further muddied when I received a cassette in the mail that was basically two long tracks of mutant experimental noise and maybe even some found sound type of material. Basically I was in the dark as to who exactly Hot Guts were after that. In the end, I can’t blame them for their desire to experiment. It’s produced some worthwhile moments for sure. That’s what makes Edges such a surprise and yet at the same time I guess it shouldn’t be. The band pull things together in such a tight knit fashion for their debut, it’s almost stunning that it’s the same band at times. No more of the bizarro ambient horror noise that I’d heard not long before this. Rather, Edges is a straight up and solid dose of throwback synth driven post-punk. While primarily finding a home in the cold sounds of 80’s darkly tinged post-punk, Hot Guts still manage to hang on to some of the futuristic sounds that inhabited much of their previous releases thanks to some creative application of synthesizers, exterior background noises, and anxiety inducing pulsating beats. The result is a pretty successful marriage to the past and present sounds of the style, which is something I certainly didn’t foresee when first throwing on Edges. Nevertheless they’ve managed to create a pretty fantastic record that doesn’t hinge too much on the retro sounds of which Edges largely draws from, but more or less applies a very modern vibe to it. I think I am going to go back and listen to that aforementioned cassette, because now I’m incredibly intrigued as to if I could have seen this coming.
Hot Guts – Unawares (stream)
This one is available through Blind Prophet Records, for anyone looking to grab themselves a copy. LP comes with a free digital download.