Hot Wire opens like gangbusters with the one-two punch of "Duty to the Debtor" and "Little Man", surely the best opening ever to a Hue and Cry album; but by the end, the impact has been dissipated by a little too much polemic, a few too many languid funk moves, and a drab attempt at emulating Steely Dan.
They're far better equipped to steer smoothly through the Curtis Mayfield pastiche "Carlos Takes the Fall" – wah-wah guitar, sleek strings and social conscience – while the New Orleans second-line grooves of the opening tracks are quite brilliantly nailed, offering solid vehicles to carry Pat Kane's socialist rhetoric. But after the Afro-Cuban funk of "Hand and Heart", things get less reliable. Best of several neatly coined adages: "We are the answer to our prayers."
DOWNLOAD THIS Duty to the Debtor; Little Man; Hand and Heart; Carlos Takes the Fall