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Hot Hot Heat Dispatch ‘Happiness’

Victoria, British Colombia’s Hot Hot Heat, the lively indie rock quartet behind jams like “Bandages,” “Middle of Nowhere,” and “Goodnight Goodnight,” have announced the release of Happiness LTD., the band’s follow up to 2005’s Elevator and third album for Sire, due September 11. The new effort, which represents over two years of work, began to take shape during the worldwide tour in support of Elevator. “We wanted this record to be written on the road,” frontman Steve Bays said in a press release, “partly so the influences would be more varied, but also so we could test out the songs live before we recorded them. We wrote music everywhere — Spain, Japan, Australia, the U.K. — so each song has a different mood.”

With hitmaker Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance) on board, as well as producer Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects) and legendary mixer Tim Palmer (U2, David Bowie, the Cure), frontman Bays claims Happiness LTD. is an eclectic yet polished and intact collection of tunes. “It’s difficult to describe its overall musical direction, but if I had to choose two adjectives I’d go with ‘big’ and ‘aggressive,'” he says. “As a band, we got most excited about the over-the-top, epic-sounding songs, so we kept pushing the tracks that way. The album has its fair share of seedy club songs, but they are dirtier and darker.”

As the first album with newfound guitarist Luke Paquin, who filled in on axe duties following the departure of Dante DeCaro in 2005, Happiness LTD.‘s tracklisting includes tunes like “Outta Heart,” which Bays claims is the “most non-Hot Hot Heat song we’ve ever done,” replete with falsetto vocals, Theremin, and a full orchestra, as well as “Harmonicas & Tambourines,” which delivers the thundering of “four drums kits at once.” Speaking about the album as a whole, Bays adds, “There are lots of twists and turns and unpredictable arrangements and instrumentation choices — yet somehow it maintains an overall timelessness.”

Hot Hot Heat tracklisting:
1. “Happiness Ltd.”
2. “Let Me In”
3. “5 Times Out of 100”
4. “Harmonicas & Tambourines”
5. “Outta Heart”
6. “My Best Fiend”
7. “Conversation”
8. “Give Up?”
9. “Good Day to Die”
10. “So So Cold”
11. “Waiting For Nothing”

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Talk: Will Hot Hot Heat’s forthcoming record deliver synthy Happiness or over-produced garbage?