Hot Suede are a five-piece rock band from Kansas City with a sound that suggests bands as diverse as Queen, Floyd, Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age are among their chosen influences. In other words we get an amalgam of the best of rock from the 70’s through to the 90’s. The band, Bobby W. Topaz (vocals), Doug Nelson (guitar), Scott Reed (guitar), Brett Southard (drums) and Chad Toney (bass) have a new self-titled album out; on which they make a hell of a noise and remain original despite being able to hear the inspirations behind their songwriting.
Opening with ‘Roll A Bone’ they remind me of Inglorious but with some QotSA mixed in and coming out the other side with something unique and very good. ‘The Otherside’ has a guitar voice box on it… in a good way; not the ‘oh, look I can talk and play’ variety. ‘Watch Me Burn’ is a classic in waiting, think Aerosmith with a touch of (proper) Whitesnake. ‘Interlude’ is err, an interlude, with 65 seconds of backward tape and doesn’t add anything. The six-minute plus ‘Occasional Lover’ is a highlight with QotSA and Muse coming through but without the musical tedium. The backing guitar is strong and supportive of a complex riff and bass/drum interplay. After a couple of plays it even has a bit of prog in a Yes way slotted in and only slightly overstays its welcome. ‘The Trail’ is also a highlight as it’s a heavier riff and, although the guitar occasionally strays toward an unwelcome edge, it keeps its solid rock base and has a jaunt to it that draws you in. The simple and effective bridge leads to a bass solo behind the guitar and then a tasty guitar solo joins the fray to make the whole thing a definite favourite. Final track, ‘Good Maroon’ is short, acoustic based instrumental with the electric doing seagull impressions and making for a pleasant minute and a half.
All in all, this is a strong addition to the genre and it is (apart from the pointless interlude) the sort of album I will return to when I don’t want too heavy or too light. I think they should get better on the next one as their identity establishes itself in a more individual and meaningful way; well worth checking out.