Hot Chip Will Break Your Legs

Hot Chip Will Break Your Legs
You’d never guess it from the peanut butter-smooth sounds on their 2004 debut, Coming On Strong, but UK five-some Hot Chip can be as brassy as laidback. Originally designed by Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor as a "dull” acoustic guitar-led band, the pair invited friends Owen Clarke, Felix Martin and Al Doyle into the fold to develop their sound into something unusual.

The Warning, their first album since joining the taste-making DFA crew, gives their debut’s bedroom-produced R&B/electro vibe a firm kick in the pants, upping the desire from its initial tune "Careful,” an explosive throwback to mid-’90s club music. "I thought it would be fun to try and do a rave-sounding tune with Hot Chip,” says Goddard. "Combine rave aesthetic with weird sounds and fit in our style with sweet lyrics over the top to make an interesting song.”

Reviving that era isn’t on this London gang’s agenda though; The Warning has a vast array of eager sounds. "It was designed to be exciting and move on from Coming On Strong — to make something that could just be energetic and fun,” Goddard explains.

Moving in and out of the boundaries of dance and pop music, Hot Chip’s style is distinct and undefined. But what is clear in their music is their sense of humour, best heard on the album’s title track where, over a tender lullaby, Taylor and Goddard quietly mutter: "Hot Chip will break your legs / Snap off your head.” According to Goddard, it’s all in good fun though — they’re not sending out a threat to anyone. "It’s totally tongue in cheek, and I find it quite funny to imagine one of us being aggressive because we’re non-aggressive people generally,” he says. "Lulling someone into a false sense of security with this serene music and then putting something silly and aggressive in it just appeals to our dark sense of humour.”