Review// Hot Collars is a new kind of awesome

Rough, ready and rousing – the debut ep from hot collars is as good as the real deal.

Hot Collars has been dropping tracks consistently over the last couple of months and building a significant amount of hype in the process. The outfit’s unique style of loose, folk-flirting, rough-around-the-edges indie is strikingly distinct and utterly infectious.

However, after a strong string of singles that drummed up intrigue, all that remains is a question of whether the outfit’s debut EP, Slim Street 45s, Pt. 1, can capitalise on it or not.

There are several schools of thought on whether the EP does truly deliver. From start to finish, the EP is a consistently enjoyable listen that feels like a breath of fresh air for the indie scene. It’s a raw, minimally-produced gem that is riddled with infectious vocal melodies and contagious instrumental rhythms. Each track delivers on the promise made by the preceding singles.

The issue arises in that 80 percent of the EP has already been released. As good as they are, tracks like Tongue Tied and Vegas Baby were both key in drumming up pre-release excitement. To have both make up half the running time, and sit alongside the Tongue Tied remix by The Go! Team and recent single No Money No Problem means that there is only one new song on offer here.

That’s not to understate the strength of that track. Good Girl is a groovy hip hop inspired number that summarises everything the band does well — vocal singalong hooks, well-crafted instrumental lines that complement the vocals, solid drum and bass grooves and unconventional instrumentation. But it’s questionable whether this track alone is enough to win the favour of fans expecting something new in the EP.

Slim Street 45s, Pt 1 is a solid EP in its own right and, taken on its own value and without the context of the preceding singles, is one of the strongest debut EPs of recent times. The difficulty for some may be overlooking the scarcity of new material here. But for those just looking for breezy indie-folk with a feelgood vibe and raw aesthetics, Hot Collars delivers.

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