Label: Moshi Moshi Release date: 24/05/10 Link: Myspace In 2006 when Hot Club De Paris came to the collective attention of music fans they possessed traits that the Merseyside three-piece could be eagerly applauded with. They weren’t a band looking for mainstream crossover or jumping on the coattails of some already dying bandwagon. They weren’t striving for some non-existent new wave of ‘Britishness.’ They played music reminiscent of Faraquet and Firehose, they sounded like someone had given fizzy pop to the entire Dischord roster. They sounded fun. And when multiplied these factors made Hot Club De Paris one of the few bands of that time whose head you didn’t want to kick back below the parapet. The reason why I mention the band’s past is because this EP is somewhat bipolar or perhaps more aptly an exercise in skin-shedding. Whilst still retaining all the elements of Hot Club that we all know and love this is a more expansive and grandiose sounding band. I’m hesitant to call it their stadium record but it has that swagger about it. Or at least it does for the first three songs. Part of the reason why the songs sound more fleshed out is because of the cleaner sounding production. This big sound is something the first three numbers benefit from whereas it exposes the final half of the record. Tub thumping opener ‘I’m Not In Love and Neither Are You’ is a stonking tune that sounds like Don Caballero covering an Alphabeat song. Its strength is in its own unabashed glee – handclaps are abound – think a more straightforward but no less jubilant indie pop version of Dananananaykroyd’s ‘Black Wax.’ ‘Biggie Smalls and the Ghetto Slams’ rides along at a euphoric pace and listening to it you can’t help but surf that wave too. But it is EP highlight ‘Free the Pterodactyl 3’ starting off with a caterwaul not unlike one TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone possesses that shines the most. The riff underpinning the song feels slightly bluesy and shows Hot Club in their feverishly buoyant pomp. The songs main attraction is the, quite literally, contagious chorus that it offers, something that Hot Club De Paris have a bit of a knack for. And from here on in The Rise and Fall... becomes a bit underwhelming. The bipolar nature of the record comes through the slower songs which in all truth Hot Club aren’t very adept at. The almost self titled track is saved by yet another sing-a-long chorus but the song is indicative of the pair following it. They all build and when they finally threaten to finally take off they either don’t – as in this case – or take off far too late. ‘The Rise and Fall... is two tracks too long for me. The two closing tracks offer little to the record apart from perhaps proving that Hot Club are best when sticking to the formula of frenetic indie-pop complete with standout chorus. But everyone knows that EP stands for Experimental Platform and hopefully Hot Club have more tunes like ‘I’m Not In Love and Neither Are You’ for any forthcoming record. Photobucket