Hot Rod Circuit’s new album underwhelms

Jenna Gerling

Photo courtesy of

Credit: Ron Soltys

This emo-punk rocker album was made to stand against all the mainstream bands, but in fact, The Underground is a Dying Breed doesn’t seem to stand out much from the crowd (like Fall Out Boy). Admittedly, a few songs are catchy such as “What We Believe In,” but the lyrical content muddles their artistic development.

Hot Rod Circuit’s last album, Reality’s Coming Through, seems to have stepped a bit farther away from their usual lost girlfriend thing they were in to in 2004. But they still stay true to their emo roots, mostly.

As for the lyrics: Waah. Waah. Waaah. The “I’ll tear my heart out” and the “Make me hopeless” cliches get old after a while. 37 soppy, teary-eyed minutes of it.

Beyond their sappy one-liners, there isn’t much more to the album’s lyrical content. Songs like “Battleship,” when they sing, “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep / I’m looking up at the satellites . Sinking like a battleship / Am I ever gonna get through this.” showcase more of the band’s pathetic lyrical attempts. Seriously, there could have been something more deep about battleships besides the fact that they sink. The game innuendo is duly noted.

The band tires out a punk-country song on “Us Royalty,” where their efforts seem to take charge. Even though “Us Royalty” is disjointed from any other songs on the album, because its intro involves a twangy guitar, it can be considered one of the record’s best tracks.

Okay, they get the credit of being better lyricists than 1999’s boy band, LFO — who rhymed “Hip hop marmalade spic and span,” with “Met you one summer and it all began.” Since their songs consisted of “ruby red slippers” and “Chinese food,” not many people can stoop much lower — but that’s a whole other subject.

Hot Rod Circuit

The Underground is a Dying Breed

Released on Immortal Records

Stater rating (out of five):


Contact ALL correspondent Jenna Gerling at [email protected].