Sunday, May 9, 2021

HOT LAUNDRY "Shake, Slide, Twist EP"


(c) 2021 Die Laughing Records/Golden Robot Records

  1. Shake
  2. What Would I Do
  3. Satisfied
  4. Glitter And Gold
Janette Lopez--Lead Vocals
Ileath Bridges--Backing Vocals
Gena Serey--Backing Vocals

Grady Hord--Guitars, Backing Vocals
Neil Young--Bass
Thor DSR--Drums

And now for something COMPLETELY different...ladies and gentlemen, I give you....HOT LAUNDRY!

Don't be mislead by the EP's cover and think that this is some kind of parody artwork, because it is not.  Hot Laundry is unlike anything you have likely heard in a very, very long time, as they mix surf rock, Motown girl bands, 60s guitar rock, and the early punk stylings of MC5 into something fresh and fun and altogether different from anything else I have come across in years!  

If you have never seen old 1960s girl group videos from back in the day, you always had the lead singer flanked by two or three other girls who were backing singers and dancers, with the band somewhere off stage.  The Ronettes, the Crystals, the Shirelles, and of course, Diana Ross and the Supremes, were among the most popular, although readers of Glitter2Gutter may be most familiar with these ladies. The Shangri Las...

Of course, when Twisted Sister covered that song, it nearly killed their career...

But, I digress....

The whole point of that little musical nostalgia trip was to set up this short visual of just what Hot Laundry is all about, with their little teaser promo for Shake, Slide, Twist...

After watching that, you may be thinking, "okay, so what's the joke here?"  But the thing is, there is no joke!   This is exactly who Hot Laundry is!!!  What you just saw is exactly what the band is about, and exactly what you get with Shake, Slide, Twist!

The EP kicks of with "Shake", and as soon as the surf rock guitars kick in...with an added helping of is immediately apparent this is not going to be your normal musical ride!  Add in the snarling attitude of Janette Lopez's vocals (along with her Motown-inspired backing vocalists/dancers) and you have something truly unique to behold, both visually and musically.  Top all of it off with a healthy dose of snide, tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo as Lopez sings:

"Everybody wants to be a Bad Ass Bitch 
You know what I want, I wanna scratch my itch.... 
Come on!  Put your sugar in my bowl!"

What self-respecting sleaze fan isn't going to love a couple of lyrical lines like that?!  The guitars are edgy and rock hard, with a GREAT 60s acid-rock solo after the second chorus run, and the drums are sharp and snappy with an absolutely killer tone.  As hard as it was for me to believe when I first tracked through this song, I found myself actually digging what this group was doing...and hitting repeat!  Check out the lyrics video below...

"What Would I Do?" continues the 60s rock fun, albeit in a much punchier, more amped-up style than bands utilized 60 years ago.  Lots of Rolling Stones-influenced boogie rock with that girl group sensibility...and the ability to rhyme "nitty gritty" with "get down on itty"...fill this swagger-filled romp that really allows Lopez to utilize her slightly nasal sneer of a voice to its full effect.  A trippy guitar solo is also dropped on the listener before the last couple of runs through the chorus on this Happy Days meets a mosh pit track, and it should be 100% apparent by now that this is not a fluke at all; this is who Hot Laundry is.

"Satisfied" is filled with more of the same, with the sparkling backing vocals from Ileath and Gena given a bit of extra attention, as is the bass work from Neil Young (no, not THAT Neil Young), and we get another period-perfect guitar solo from Hord who really proves himself to be a skilled axeman on this EP.  Still, its the sass and overall vocal prowess of Lopez that is on display here, combining an Aretha Franklin power with a Mick Jagger strut as the rest of the band rocks its way through another solid dose of 60s inspired guitar rock.  

Some fun handclaps open "Glitter And Gold" (they pop up several times throughout the track), and the dance-worthy, funkified groove comes busting forward on the EP's closer.  Tell me, do you "wanna dance with the devil"?  Because if you do, apparently he's a friend of Hot Laundry's...or at least a friend of Janette Lopez...and according to the song, your options are getting down and boogie-ing with the Prince of Darkness or going to Heaven.  You choose!  Even if you choose Heaven here, there's no denying this track is a hell of a lot of fun, as is the entirety of Shake, Slide, Twist.  

So, do I like it?  Is it good?  Will YOU like it?  Well..."yes", "yes", and "maybe", in that order.  Look, if you are pigeon-holed into glam or sleaze or thrash or whatever, then don't bother with Hot Laundry because you are not going to get it, you're not going to like it, and you are going to think I am completely off my rocker.  But, if like me, you appreciate hard-edged music from various eras and genres, then I think there is a very good chance you are going to have a lot of fun with Hot Laundry. I have to say that I would LOVE to see these ladies live, as I'm betting they put on a heck of a show!  Additionally, I have to also say that I am likely going to be tracking down their back catalog, as I want to hear what else Hot Laundry has to offer!  This is something special, even if it comes at you out of left field...via San Francisco...

Rating:  A really, really fun listen that is worth cranking to 8, especially if you are willing to get outside your comfort zone!

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