Hot Rod Circuit – If It’s Cool With You, It’s Cool With Me

Second album from Connecticut emo geniuses

Hot Rod Circuit

Hot Rod Circuit were another band that I discovered through the Vagrant Another Year on the Streets compilation CD I picked up from Tempest Records in Birmingham. They had a song on there called 'The Pharmacist' which was a track off their recently released (in 2002 anyway) 'Sorry About Tomorrow'. The song was really good and led me to buy the album. Turns out that track was one of the weakest on the album. I played and played Sorry About Tomorrow over and over again, even converting my girlfriend to the ways of emo. I never really sought out their other records actively. Tempest didn't stock their older stuff so when I did finally decide to check out their other stuff, it was Soulseek (remember that P2P program) that led me to it.

I only wish I had got this album sooner. I think it's way better than Sorry About Tomorrow. It's rawer, less polished but has some belting songs on it. Released in 2000 on Big Wheel Creation (BWR 0437), Radio Song and Supersad ('I'm seeing double and I know that I'm in trouble, I can't wait to see you standing there') open the record with real energy and are two of the stronger tracks. (Radio Song managed to gain some college radio airtime and reinforced their early promise.) They're over before you know it. The Power of the Vitamins slows the pace down a little before Versatility and Flight 89 ramp it back up. I love the style of HRC songs, the rhythm guitar being overlaid by a constant lead break; totally separate guitar parts but wholly complimentary. I always imagined myself as one of these types of guitarists in a band. Let the other bloke do the chords while you fill in with little lead parts and get the girls. That's how it happens, right?

Sure it's about the usual emo themes; clocking a girl at a party and making a plank of yourself, having a laugh with your mates, the heart-wrenching when moving home and leaving people behind. But sometimes you need that stuff. Music that you can relate to times when the world just seemed so darn big and nothing was gonna work out. It's OK kids, we know. We know. Everything's gonna be fine.

The record itself is standard fare, with the exception of the green vinyl. As far as I know, it had no dedicated UK release, so this is a US import. There's no inner, just a plain white rounded corner die cut paper sleeve. I'm not sure what significance the sit-on lawnmower has but it's front-and-centre on the sleeve as well as having 360 degree pictures on the wraparound strip towards the bottom of the sleeve. They also feature on the labels too. Strange. It was licenced by Big Wheel Recreation from Triple Crown/ Montalban Hotel.

Track listing

Side 1

  1. Radio Song
  2. Supersad
  3. Two Hand Touch
  4. The Power Of The Vitamins
  5. Cool With Me

Side 2

  1. Versatility
  2. This Is Not The Time Or The Place
  3. Smithsonian Liver
  4. Flight 89 (North American)
  5. You Kill Me
  6. What's Left Standing


Side 1 – L-11060M-A BWR-0437A

Side 2 – L-11060M-B BWR-0437 B

Check out the (pretty bad) video for Flight 89 below:

Category: 12"


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Article by: Brett

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