1. Young And Reckless
2. She’s Got To Go
3. Goodbye, Goodbye
4. The Beginning Of The End
5. Her Majesty
6. Have You Seen This Girl?
9. 5th of July
10. Get Me Outta Here
Hotspur debuts with their full-length “Beta” in 2006. Inner Ear reviewed the songs on their myspace, by request, awhile ago, and was already impressed by this band’s ability to fuse powerpop and good lyrics to a catchy, energetic and complete musical package. On this full-length the band show’s they are even more versatile than that by varying between soft, loud, fast, slow, passionate, energetic, and different style influences. Hotspur is a band on the rise and you should keep an ear out for them.
Young And Reckless
The album opens with the angsty Young & Reckless where the interaction between the different musicians really shines. Instantly, Hotspur shows their talent. They mix up different styles with influences from soul/funk, rock & roll and indie fused together like glue. With a certain catchiness and convincingly performed, Young And Reckless is a statement. A statement that this band’s talent needs to be heard.
She’s Got To go
She’s Got To Go is a song that we heard before and just like the first time we listened to it, we are still impressed with this one. Clear and understandable vocals & lyrics with a soulful, piano-driven rock & roll ballad feel. In a way it has a bit of a British feel to it. The passionate expression in this song gives it some extra shine.
Next up is the fast-paced Goodbye, Goodbye and is a perfect example of a good powerpop radio song. It is catchy, has great vocals, and lyrics that are definitely singable. It’s a proven concept, but the way Hotspur brings this song to you, it has something fresh, something new to it. Goodbye, Goodbye is a good addition to this strong debut album.
The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning of the End is one of those typical piano songs in the Muse-tradition. It has the same mystical energy, and remotely it also reminds me of some of Krezip’s work. These bands have a mix of excellent musicianship with energy, passion and an itch for perfection. Perfection is something out of reach for all of us, but we can sure try to reach it. Hotspur isn’t the perfect band, but they sure are trying their best and this song is from an exceptional quality.
This song shows more of this band’s talent. I was impressed when I reviewed this earlier, with almost an old kind of sound, with the great keys and amazing vocals. Apart from being solid musicians and passionate about their music, they also show humor and creative songwriting in this song. Probably one of the best songs this band brings you on “Beta”. Maybe not radio material, but the true music fan will appreciate the cleverness and musicality of this song.
Have You Seen This Girl?
Where this is the song that got me into Hotspur at first, I probably grown out of it slightly. Out of all the songs on this album, this one sounds the least original. I don’t want to sound to negative, but this song reminds me of several other acts. It’s a good pop tune that would probably be a killer single on radio. And the band does it just as well as any other band would, and I still can’t help but sing along to it. So the song absolutely has quality and the great vocals make it even easier to sing along to, which makes it fun to listen to.
Skydive is a great alternative, indie-like song, and with the distinct keys arrangement it has a British Influence feel. It’s one of my favorites on the album as it’s a song that you can really get into. Artists & bands like The Fray, Melee, James Morisson, and many others will have greater success with similar music, but this song is at least as good, if not better than many of their songs.
A more sensitive, softer side of Hotspur is shown on Criminal, which is a solid song, and shows some diversity for this band, but where they are always so strong in convincingly performing the songs, this one falls a little short. Criminal simply misses a good climax or a good punch. Solid song, but nothing more.
5th of July
I am writing this review a lot later than the album release, but can I say, once again (I mentioned this earlier this year) that Sarah Bareilles must be a fan of this band, cause the main riff for this song must have been the inspiration for her hit song “Love Song”, cause it is more than similar. 5th of July is a fun, dancable, singable, enjoyable tune with likeable lyrics, that I think is fit to go on radio any day. Well-played song, but it’s not their best by any means.
Get Me Outta Here
The album closer, Get Me Outta Here is dance-rock that mixes Gavin DeGraw style singer/songwriter with the Britpop energy rock style (Kaiser Chiefs and the likes) with a bit of an etherical underlying feel (the Muse reference comes to mind again). It’s a good way to fade into the end of the album, but once again it’s not one of the band’s strongest efforts.
Hotspur releases a very solid, and at times very impressive debut album with “Beta”. The first half is definitely stronger than the 2nd half, but for the sake of versatility it’s good those songs appear on the disc. They might want to order it differently for more balance on the album, but by all means Hotspur shows they have a future in today’s harsh music climate. With one of the better indie vocalists in the field (though I know that many will disagree cause of his distinct vocal sound) and amazing keys, this band has a solid melodic basis that is expertly supported by the rhythm instruments. The band members prove to be good and creative songsmiths as they write creative and alternative pop/rock tunes with influences from other genres. They’re not afraid to experiment and pour in plenty of enthusiasm, passion and energy. This makes their music not only sound genuine, but it actually is genuine. Therefore I believe that Hotspur has only just started and will be back with more.