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The best kept secret in music


"Southeastern Performer"

Nashville-based indie rockers Hotpipes have come a long way from their first CD, The Deadly Poison. Their sophomore release leaves little to be desired, and it comes as no surprise since the streets have been abuzz recently with news about the up-and-comers. The self-titled second release has a sound seemingly fresher than the band's contemporaries, but manages to remain in step with its predecessors. Paying a great deal of homage to 1980s new wave, Hotpipes blend elements of Modern English, The Kinks and the sporadic pop of Talking Heads with a keen indie-rock sensibility. The lo-fi production allows the band to stand on its own merits as creative and talented musicians; while the CD isn't slick and all glossed over, it remains tight and resounding. Lyrically, singer Jon Rogers mixes sharp wit, dark humor and abstract imagery over heartfelt melodies and imaginative harmonies. Drummer Dan Sommers' precision and dexterity provide a steady complement to the stylized keyboard and thumping bass arrangements. From the first track to the last, the energy and urgency on this CD never falters. It has all the makings of mainstream success, or at least points in that direction. It's evident that Hotpipes carefully constructed this latest CD; nothing on the disc sounds impromptu or forced, but rather as though every note was hand-picked to fill a certain requirement. Each song works so well in the context of the whole CD that the job of selecting a standout track is a futile expenditure. (Self-released)

- Southeastern Performer

"The Red Alert"

Hotpipes starts out with a slightly New Wave, Talking Heads-meets-Pavement energy, but then kind of sweetly confuses you with a strange amalgamation of Fugazi / Hot Hot Heat kind of dynamics. Perhaps those two bands don’t match at all in your mind, and they don’t really in mine, either, but here on songs like “The Late Riser” and “Much Too,” it actually kind of makes sense. There are also indie rock and roll hints of bands like The Walkmen, mostly through the interplay of the drums and vocals—that nasally sing-song whine in the voice and the snare happy march hits of the drum kit. It’s rough around the edges and ready to fall apart at almost every chorus, but somehow it all holds together.

There are moments when the band breaks out into strange lo-fi movements that are almost like crazy pirate songs or sea shanties as sung by someone who’s never been near the ocean, let alone gone on journeys as a pirate. There is something that you kind of have to respect, though, about a band that can manage to move from Talking Heads to Pirates, and then over to a mellow piano ballad with hints of some rock ‘n’ roll opera hiding in the wings. Showtunes for hipsters scattered amongst the no wave ruins of random pop songs. These are fun songs that revel in the simplicity and joy of just playing music. The whine and twang moves against energy and noise, and while you can’t always understand what the songs are about, you can still feel where they are going.

- The Red Alert

"Nashville Rage"

On their new eponymous full-length, Nashville rock quintet Hotpipes sound more ferocious and bombastic than ever (due in no small part to the addition of drummer Dan Sommers), but they spread their vehemence over a wider plane. Standout track "Song For The Late Riser" swaps out guitar fuzz for trumpet swells, sleigh bells and sustained piano chords. The broad instrumentation provides a vivid backdrop for leader Jon Rogers' unfaltering vocals, alternately belted and whispered through the arrangements' many twists and turns. Hotpipes' songs are craftily constructed and ambitious, but presented with a playful modesty (You can hear Rogers laugh off a rare voice-cracking on "Rattle Cats") and the band's unflagging effervescence only makes their tightly wound pop all the more infectious. The band celebrates the album's release with the perverse puppetry of the Pull the Strings Players and classic soul cuts from D-Funk. - Nashville Rage

"American Songwriter"

If you’re Satan, don’t waste your time,” so begins the debut from Nashville’s freshest sounding and arguably best unsigned rock band, Hotpipes. This album is chalked full of nice little thinking-man’s lyrics like this one, and also memorable licks, grooves, yelps, chants and other ingredients that make for a catchy album. There are some Robert Plant-esque vocal moments and maybe some squirrelly Radiohead touches here and there, but overall, Hotpipes gets the better of originality. A slower-paced standout, “Lota Lee” is a somber, moodily textured piece—though it still aches with some kind of hope or peace or reconciliation, etc.—fueled by piano/cello combo and lead singer Jonathan Rogers’ concentrated, swelling vocal effort. Aside from this one, the album is jaunty, raw and rollicking, and makes for one of the indie rock’s more attention-grabbing releases of ‘07.
- American Songwriter

"Sound As Language"

Hotpipes are an impressive rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band plays a diverse mixture of indie rock, art-rock and post-punk. The Hotpipes’ sound falls squarely in the middle of those three genres. The band possesses an admirable sense of adventure and they add to it the mature composition skills of a band like The Walkmen. All these elements add up to make Hotpipes self-titled album a memorable one.

Musically, Hotpipes sounds remarkably tight and creative throughout the album. The band is quite adept at building moods and creating textures much like the aforementioned Walkmen. “Song For The Late Riser” is quite a noticeable track as the drums bring the song in before the unique vocals of Jon Rogers join in. The drums and Rogers’ vocals continue to carry the song until horns come in at the end to finish it off. Horns actually show up on a few tracks and they work well in adding some spice to the band’s mainly sparse musical arrangements. While Hotpipes’ arrangements might be considered minimal, there is a sense of playful ambition that runs throughout the album. That playfulness reminds me of earlier Clinic material. Rogers’ vocals are also quite similar in tone to Clinic’s Ade Blackburn. Never does Hotpipes’ ambition sacrifice the songs themselves though. There is a warm sensibility in the way the band’s music comes across. “Women Of The World Agree” and “Much Too” continue to show the band’s unique ability to create more from less. “Test Song” is a nice intimate and instrumentally bare tune that showcases Rogers’ strong vocals. “Test Song” flows right into “Starter Kit” which is absolutely infectious as the whole band seems to be shouting along in unison. “Lota Lee” is a dark and hypnotic song. It is a beautiful ballad which really showcases how talented Rogers is as a vocalist in creating a certain mood. It also shows off how remarkable the band is at creating a musical backdroop to frame his vocals.

Hotpipes have created an intriguing and rewarding album here. It is an album that should appeal to a broad range of people throughout the indie rock scene. Whether those people who would love it actually get to hear it is the only real question. So, do your duty and tell somebody about Hotpipes.
- Sound As Language


Heroes and Villains (EP) Self Released
Cool, Calm, Collected (EP) Self Released
The Deadly Poison (LP) Vacant Cage Records.
Hotpipes (Self Titled) (LP) Liquid Panda Records

songs can be heard at:


Feeling a bit camera shy


We have worked very hard with a variety of amazing individuals (Loney Hutchins, Ken Coomer and Whit Hubner) to create our secong full length record that came out in Feb. 2007 (We also have two EP's). We are excited and hope you will be too.