Hotwire’s sophomore release, The Routine, roars through twelve pulsating tracks, full of the sort of brutal angst that will put a smile on the face of any hardcore fan.
Tracks like “Nice Profile,” “Invisible” and “Magazine” showcase the band’s knack for galvanizing guitar riffs and cutthroat choruses.
Singer/guitarist Russ Martin’s scorching vocals transition nicely from melodic swoons to blood curdling fits of aggression.
“Not Today,” “Neuro Girl” and “Say What You Want” capture Martin at his dynamic best.
Guitarist Gabe Garcia’s grooves are crisp and forceful while bassist Chris Strauser and drummer Brian Borg provide a beefed-up rhythm section.
The only downfall of the album is it tends to come out strong, only to end on a tiresome and sputtered-out low note.
As the album wanes, so does the band’s energy.
But the group’s ability to infuse very different genres – traces of metal, pop and punk spring up in almost every track – into blitzkrieg guitar romps and chaotic vocal outbursts is impressive and keeps the album afloat.
– Dustin Schoof