Hot Suede’s self-titled new album is here to provide you with all the classic hard rocking goodness you could want.
Hot Suede play classic-styled hard rock, and they play it well. A simple assessment, but also a simple approach on display in the album. The band isn’t trying to re-write the book on any of this, and to be frank, they don’t need to. What they offer here is (aside from a couple of interlude tracks) a solid slab of 10 satisfyingly catchy numbers.
They know what they want to do, and they do it well, playing all the hits. Catchy riffs dominate the hearts of the likes of “Make It Harder” and “Forget About You”, the latter perfectly capturing that feeling of cruising down the highway. The openings of “Got It Made” and “The Otherside” establish themselves right away without pomp or delay: they are songs absolutely brimming with confidence, and swagger into position without an instant of misstep or hesitation. Some of the bass and guitar effects even call to mind more stoner-oriented rockers like Orange Goblin or Monster Magnet.
A particular highlight for me is the shockingly emotional guitar work in “Occasional Lover”. The band notes this one as a song inspired by Queen, and given the power on show, I can definitely see it. The music is much more stirring than one might expect, with really quite surprisingly effective riffing and progression throughout the song.
While the album as a whole does have some of that retro feel heard among the likes of Graveyard or Horisont, it’s also less overt here than on those, more of an additional flavour than the grounding for the entire endeavour. On the one hand, this grounded approach can be refreshing in itself, though on the other hand it can lead to the band maybe not standing out as much as some of their peers.
That’s really the only downside to what Hot Suede offer: there’s not so much jumping out, beyond the general quality of the material. It’s very competent, so much so that there’s very little to actually criticise: the production, vocals, song composition and riffing, it’s all good stuff. Ultimately, if you’re a hard rock fan, you -will- have a good time with this, but don’t expect much to stand out beyond it being just that.