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  • Filed under: Review
  • 10/05/2012

Hissy Fit Heat Wave EP

The Heat Wave EP could really use a rearrangement of its tracklist. As it stands now, the effort leads off in underwhelming territory, beginning with the title track—complete with an ill-fitting vocal performance—and followed by two similarly uncomplimentary remixes. This is really a shame though, because those willing to skip through the first 15-plus minutes of misguided fare are eventually treated to an impressive example of Hissy Fit's sleek, garage-indebted stylings, one which all but makes up for the record's clunky first half.

"Heat Wave" opens the EP on a note of end-of-summer contemplation. The Montreal producer gently pulls together the song's polished underpinnings—a skipping garage beat, wide chords matched by rounded bass notes, and an understated guitar riff that appears in alternating corners—making for an unoffensive bed of silky, UK-inspired sounds. Eventually, Hissy Fit's collaborator, Danielle Doiron, takes the lead, unraveling a story of summertime hindsight with a raspy but calm delivery that seems to stand out in front of the track. In the end though, it just doesn't work. The lyrics, left out alone atop the shimmering instrumental, are stuck in an awkward place between being too plain and too ambiguous, and Doiron's voice, while likely well suited for other veins of musical collaboration, has trouble sinking into the club-oriented track. In the end, "Heat Wave" fails to find the tricky balance between being a pop song and an effective piece of dance music, and the accompanying remixes from Bassmynt and Reilly Steel aren't left with much to work with.

But there is a light to be found in the EP's other original offering, "Buried." Churning at a brisker pace, the tune seems pleasantly straightforward when compared to its title-track counterpart. Essentially, Hissy Fit rolls out many of the same elements—thick chords, a jumpy, skittering beat, and rounded bass (this time around held out for whole bars)—but the resulting track makes for a much more enjoyable experience, and the chopped and re-worked male R&B vocal harmonies and one-off runs which are laid on top of his production are just about perfect. Given the stronger material to work with, Hissy Fit's fellow Candian producer HxdB delivers a similarly alluring remix, and together, the two save this EP from being a complete blemish.

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