Hot Hot Heat
's breakout album was a model of economy, packing a huge amount of ideas and energy into a svelte ten-song track listing. Elevator
, Hot Hot Heat
's Sire Records debut, is also pretty speedy, burning through 15 tracks in just under 38 minutes. Tracks like "Goodnight Goodnight" and "Jingle Jangle" are nearly as wiry and witty as the band's debut, and there are flashes of Hot Hot Heat
's breathless pop brilliance: the panicky opener "Running Out of Time" and pouty single "You Owe Me an IOU" are just as hooky and smart as Hot Hot Heat
's previous bests. With its choppy verses and sunny choruses, "Island of the Honest Man" opens up the band's sound and is one of the few tracks (along with "Elevator" itself) that makes good use of the album's expansive production. Elevator
kicks further into gear on its second half, where a string of moody almost-ballads like "Middle of Nowhere," "Dirty Mouth," "Soldier in a Box," and the title track add edge and focus.