Reviews \

Hot Leg, ‘Red Light Fever’ (Barbecue Rock)

picture-6734-1372868851Charles Aaron // March 19, 2009

The Darkness’ peacock-ish pop-metal frolic left frontman Justin Hawkins nose-down in a powdery trough by 2004, but here he tries to end a personal five-year slide on his new group’s feisty debut. And most of these tautly played tracks — the operatically clucking “Chickens,” the glam-boogie piety rant “I’ve Met Jesus,” the kooky strum-along saga “Trojan Guitar,” the Flashdance- flaying “Cocktails” — tweak cock-rock riffs with a synth-pop joie de vivre that illuminates Hawkins’ falsetto freakazoid shtick am far better than the Darkness’ Queen-size, pan-flute flameout, One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back. He’ll never be anybody’s Marc Bolan, but at least he’s trying.