Justin Hawkins will forever be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because of his vocal style everything he does will always be compared to his work in the Darkness there is just no way around it. His new band Hot Leg has just released their debut album “Red Light Fever” and yes it does sound like the Darkness but it sounds like a new and improved version. “Red Light Fever” by far passes both albums released by his previous band. Every song here (ten in all) is capable of being released as a single from the outrageous opener “Chicken” to “Cocktails” and even the albums closer a piano rocker called “Kissin’ The Wind”. Joining Hawkins in Hot Leg are Pete Rinaldi – Lead Guitar, Samuel SJ Stokes – Bass, and Darby Todd – Drums.
For a band that has only been together for a year or so these guys sound incredibly tight and in sync with one another from beginning to end. Hawkins trademark high pitched vocals are all over this record where it seems he might have been held back in the past not true here and Renaldi pulls off some exceptional solos throughout but especially on “Gay In The 80’s”, “Prima Donna” and “You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore”. On “Ashamed” Hawkins duets with Beverli Brown and pull off what may end up being the best song on the album. When “Trojan Guitar” first starts out you think it may be a reworking of Billy Squier’s “the Stroke” along with “Chicken” these may be to the two most outrageous songs on the album but they still kick ass and Renaldi pulls of another exceptional solo.
The two songs I haven’t mentioned yet could very easily find themselves at the top of the charts “I’ve Met Jesus” and “Whichever Way You Wanna Give It” and just in case I didn’t mention it before there are no ballads on “Red Light Fever”. Whatever health problems Hawkins had in the past seem to be behind him and it definitely shows on this record. He and the boys come out with guns blazing and do not slow down one bit and it sounds like they are having a blast the entire time.
If you are looking for “serious” rock you may want to wait for the new U2 album to come out, but if you are looking for pure unadulterated foot stomping, air guitaring, sing along fun rock n roll then Hot Leg’s “Red Light Fever” will be right up your alley and definitely worth the trip.
2. You Can’t Hurt Me Any More
4. I’ve Met Jesus
5. Trojan Guitar
7. Gay In The 80’s
8. Prima Donna
9. Whichever Way You Want To Give It
10. Kissing In The Wind
Hot Leg is:
Samuel SJ Stokes