by Tirhakah Love (@GoonTherapy)
Only four months in existence, Hot Rumour has already developed a mature alternative rock shrill. The group’s popularity has spread across Los Angeles faster than tabloid gossip. Their new EP MMXXVI delivers shadowy harmonies reminiscent of Muse with warbly, indiscriminate pitch-leaping vocals calling forth the likes of AWOLnation and The Killers. Hot Rumour’s rock n roll is lively and fully realized, making their project a surprisingly unrepentant joy.
Vocally, Hot Rumour benefits from lead-vocalist, Aaron Ficchi’s trilly vibrato pouring over progressive synth chords keyed by producer, Frankie Siragusa. Their chemistry is best understood on songs like “Two Days to Millenium,” where Siragusa’s heavily layered synths cascade into a blitzkrieg shred and Ficchi’s layered vocals create insular darkness. Aaron’s brother, Josh, on drums, is a steadying hand that disarms the audience with perfect rhythm, without being overbearing. Though their single “Run to Me” sounds appropriately aligned to pop sensibility, the songwriting is decidedly emo (“take my breath even it might mean you can’t breathe on your own”–a departure from most pop acts post-2010.
MMXXVI isn’t devoid of experimentation either. Their songs are structurally simple, encapsulating the trio’s understanding of traditional rock chords.But Aaron Ficchi’s falsetto is shaky and his guitar playfully jumps across octaves just to switch up their delivery. Sometimes the solos, like one featured in “All Going to Hell,” can get a tad convoluted but I don’t think it takes away from the character of the project too much. The EP reaches its musical peak on, “Psycho.” The song, true to its name, generates a brooding tone through Aaron’s eerily pitchy falsetto (a la Chris Martin) and an electronic guitar shred that’s a ridiculous moment on this record.
Hot Rumour is a winner with their first EP. Aaron’s got the vocal chops to carry a tune and he capitalizes on heavy peaks with a powerful energy. The structure of each song might seem formulaic but Hot Rumour’s upfront bombast is uniquely theirs. With this new record under their belt, Hot Rumour’s booming future is an exciting prospect for alternative fans across the country.
MMXXVI is scheduled for an April, 29th release via SoundCloud