If you think the past 20 years of rock_ fuck it, music in general_ have been a big suck, then Hotblack is the band for you.
Formed in 2004, the quartet sticks to a restricted diet of old-school punk and hardcore, melodic metal, and groove that never slows to stoner speeds. Guitarist Todd Cuff says the whole idea of hotel-room smashing, whiskey guzzling, cash bathing hedonism is the inspiration behind Hotblack, but you’d be hard pressed to find anything quite so indulgent in the music itself.
Instead, Cuff, singer and guitarist Airworlf, bassist Dan Egan, and drummer Josh Puza knock out two-minute tunes full of snot and piss, and they don’t care what you think about their Camaro-stealing ways.
Even though these guys are coming from different backgrounds_ Egan, for instance, was in Western Mass death-metal stalwarts Exhumed_ they find common ground that’s both familiar and their own. You start to think the band is heading off into a Motorhead direction and it suddenly swerves into something more punk. When things get Ramones-y, count on metal to come barreling in. None of it is jarring (at least in a bad way). Actually, it swings.
“I could toss up a black metal tune and Airwolf would make it swing. That’s just the way he is,” Cuff says.
|Dan Egan on bass and Airwolf on guitar (Return to the Pit photo)|
Hotblack, whose flat-out slash 'n' burn set at this year's Rock and Shock fest in Worcester reportedly put a kink in Jerry Only's devil lock, has a pair of shows coming up. The first is Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Elevens, 140 Pleasant St., Northampton. That bill also has Palace in Thunderland (featuring ex-Black Pyramid members), and Planetoid. Then on Dec. 15, Hotblack teams with Humanoid at No Problemo, 813 Purchase St., New Bedford.
And maybe in time for Christmas the band will haul out remaining copies of “Rock n Roll Will Destroy Your Life,” the CD released in 2008, disappeared for a few years, and returned in limited quantities in the fall.
“Maybe we’ll just release it every October like a seasonal beer,” says Cuff. Any new stuff is likely going to simply go up online since in the guitarist’s estimation there is no music business to speak of.
And he doesn’t know which is worse: no more gold-plated tour jets or a world where bands flog their gigs on Facebook.
“I hate to whore on Facebook. It’s the least rock ’n’ roll thing imaginable,” Cuff says “Can you imagine Jimmy Page using Facebook to announce a gig? Ozzy would have never used Facebook. He’d just announce a gig five minutes before it happened and that’s fine.”