Hot Springs Volcano

Already everything a fan of rapturous live rock’n’roll could pray for, Montreal’s Hot Springs have conquered another medium with their spectacular debut full-length, Volcano. Its tender yet muscular hooks refuse to be dislodged from the mind after even one listen, often courtesy of front-woman Giselle Webber’s endearing warbling coo, which occupies a territory between Björk and Feist. Robust production (the bass is so warm it glows) adds wonderful clarity to the arrangements, allowing all the idiosyncrasies of the performances to shine. The rhythm section is airtight, pulsing with creative grooves that push and pull song dynamics with tasty restraint but never obscure the passionate rock’n’roll freak-outs that comprise the Hot Spring’s molten core. Giselle’s lyrics tackle familiar rock and pop subject matter but spin any clichés in a web of insight and humour. Volcano is one of those rare albums so well written and put together that every moment blossoms with transcendence. (Quire)