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 Hot Leg

British Rock Band

 

Studio Albums

Red Light Fever

 

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Hot Leg

Red Light Fever - Hot Leg - 3.5 (2009 mark)

Chickens/ You Can't Hurt Me Anymore/ Ashamed/ I've Met Jesus/ Trojan Guitar/ Cocktails/ Gay in the 80s/ Prima Donna/ Whichever Way You Want to/ Kissing in the Wind.

The Darkness burst upon the scene, provided oodles of heavy rock riffs, played sold out gigs and stadiums and then, like so many before them, imploded. Lead singer, latex clad Justin Hawkins decided to lay low for some time before re-inventing himself and his band as Hot Leg. Well that was the theory. The reality is something a little harsher. Whereas the Darkness sold out within minutes of tickets being available - there is a suggestion that Hot Leg are finding it difficult to sell out modest venues - such is the flimsy nature of rock n roll. Yesterday's heroes are today's rock fodder. For a start the name The Darkness had satanic, ritualistic rock connotations. Hot Leg sounds more like a Rod Stewart cast off band. Perhaps a more low key approach was what Hawkins' was trying to achieve. So what of the music. Well sadly Hawkins has become a pastiche of himself. This is The Darkness underachieving. The songwriting attempts to be lyrically sharp but doesn't really succeed. The album is full of slashing guitar riffs and falsetto vocals as if Hawkins desperately still wants to be Freddy Mercury but doesn't quite know how to be. So his voice quakes and rolls and on the opening track Chickens just becomes laughable as if the singer has inhaled too much helium. Gay in the 80s has plainly stupid lyrics "oh in the 1980s they were the gaytees, they were the straightees" and how about this from "I've Met Jesus." "I've Met Jesus and he's nothing like you."   Is it Hawkins trying to be amusing or trying to be clever? The result, sadly, is just a mess that only the most diehard fan will enjoy. It's the kind of album you play a couple of times before consigning to a place at the back of your CD collection or give to the nearest charity shop. For me the record starts and under 36 minutes later grinds to a halt.